Every time ISIS massacres innocent victims, they hope that their barbaric acts will inflame hate, tearing Christian and Muslim communities apart. How inspiring that instead, victims’ loved ones are calling for peace and not war.
On Friday night, Nov. 14, Antoine Leiris lost the love of his life, wife Helene Muyal-Leiris, 35, who was one of the 89 victims slaughtered in the Bataclan Theater in Paris. Ms. Muyal-Leiris was a hair and makeup artist and the mother of a 17-month-old son, Melvil, and her husband wrote a touching and defiant Facebook post in honor of his beautiful wife.
“I will not grant you the gift of my hatred,” Antoine vowed to the ISIS terrorists who gunned her down . “You’re asking for it, but responding to hatred with anger is falling victim to the same ignorance that has made you what you are.” “You want me to be scared, to view my countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my liberty for my security. You lost,” he announced to the murderers.
That’s right, ISIS—you lost. And you will lose every time you try to spread evil and mayhem, and millions of peaceful citizens refuse to go along with your despicable mission. The defy you even after losing their most cherished loved ones.
As Antoine wrote: “Of course I am devastated by this pain, I will give you this little victory, but the pain will be short-lived. I know she ( Helene) will be with us every day and that we will find ourselves again in this paradise of free love to which you have no access.”
ISIS despises Western freedom and culture. It’s deranged followers can’t stand that people of different religions, races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations and of diverse political views all live together in respect and harmony. They’re seeking to drive wedges particularly between Muslims and all other faiths wherever they murder innocents, whether it’s in Paris, Boston or Beirut. The refusal to hate, the commitment to love one another as neighbors and friends, is the ultimate revenge on ISIS, as Antoine so poignantly points out.
Another young man who spent two hours hiding inside the Bataclan Theater spoke out on CNN today. He survived the terrifying attack but lost two friends to the machine-gun toting terrorists. Yet his message is the same as Antoine’s. “We have to love everyone, love our differences,” he told the news outlet. He is now even more determined to do that.
“I am proud of the French people and especially of the Muslim community and how everyone stands united,” Anthony Kenigsberg, another young Parisian, who attended a tribute to the massacre victims told CNN.com. Even victims of the Boston bombing have been speaking out for peace after the Paris attacks. “No more hurting people. Peace,” wrote little Jane Richard, 9; at, who lost lost her leg in the Boston bombing. Her big brother Martin, was 8, when he was murdered by the Boston bombers.
Sadly, the governors of 31 number of American states – all but one, a Republican, are now demanding that none of the Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S., be allowed to immigrate to their states. That’s exactly what ISIS wants. The governors are giving in to fear, mistrust and prejudice.
Millions of destitute Syrians who also only want a chance for a peaceful life should not be made scapegoats for the vile ISIS militants who drove them from their homes. Instead, these governors should learn from the courage voiced by an ordinary French man who lost his beloved wife. He boldly told ISIS: “I don’t have any more time to devote to you.” He taunts ISIS with the freedom of his young son. “This little boy will threaten you by being happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.”
Thank you, Antoine and the other brave individuals who despite devastating loss, are demonstrating that the best way to defeat ISIS hate, is through love.
Do you agree HollywoodLifers? Let me know. Antoine’s full blog post translated is below.
YOU WILL NOT HAVE MY HATRED
Friday night, you took an exceptional life — the love of my life, the mother of my son — but you will not have my hatred. I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know, you are dead souls. If this God, for whom you kill blindly, made us in his image, every bullet in the body of my wife would have been one more wound in his heart.
So, no, I will not grant you the gift of my hatred. You’re asking for it, but responding to hatred with anger is falling victim to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be scared, to view my countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my liberty for my security. You lost.
I saw her this morning. Finally, after nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love over 12 years ago. Of course I am devastated by this pain, I give you this little victory, but the pain will be short-lived. I know that she will be with us every day and that we will find ourselves again in this paradise of free love to which you have no access.
We are just two, my son and me, but we are stronger than all the armies in the world. I don’t have any more time to devote to you, I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17-months-old. He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual, and for his whole life this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.
— Bonnie Fuller