It’s been just over a week since Islamic terrorists killed 129 people in Paris, and the husband of a woman killed at the Bataclan concert hall has written a powerful open letter to her killers.
Posting it on his Facebook page, Antoine Leiris told his wife’s killers that he would never succumb to hatred, nor would their 17-month-old son.
Leiris’ wife, 35-year-old Hélène Muyal, was one of the 89 people killed in the concert hall by the terrorists, reported The Guardian.
Moving, poetic, and brave, Leiris’ letter was titled: ‘You will not have my hatred.’
Listen to Leiris read his letter in the BBC News video below:
It has since been shared thousands of times, and you can read a translation of it here:
“On Friday evening you stole away the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hatred.
“I do not know who you are, and I don’t want to know — you are dead souls. If the God for whom you kill so blindly made us in his image, each bullet in my wife’s body would have been a wound in His heart.
“Therefore, I will not give you the gift of hating you. You have obviously sought it, but responding to it with anger would be to give in to the same ignorance that has made you what you are.
“You want me to be afraid? To cast a mistrustful eye on my fellow citizens? To sacrifice my freedom for security? You lost. Same player. Same game.
“I saw her this morning, finally, after nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as she left on Friday evening, as beautiful as when I fell madly in love with her more than 12 years ago.
“Of course, I am devastated with grief — I will give you that tiny victory — but this will be a short-term grief. I know that she will join us every day, and that we will find each other again in the paradise of free souls, which you will never have access to.
“We are only two, my son and I, but we are more powerful than all the world’s armies. In any case, I have no more time to waste on you. I need to get back to Melvil [his son] who is waking up from his afternoon nap; he’s just 17 months old. He’ll eat his snack like every day, and then we’re going to play like every day, and for every day of his life this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom, because you don’t have his hatred either.”
See this video by AJ+ about how the French will continue to celebrate their way of life and culture after the Paris attacks: