Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“I won't give you the gift of hating you”: man pens heartbreaking letter to Paris terrorists after his wife was killed

rexfeatures_5367948s.jpg

A husband who lost his wife in the Bataclan terror attack has posted a heart-breaking open letter to her killers vowing not hate them and to raise their one-year-old son happy and free.

The powerful letter by Antoine Leiris to the terror gang who shot his wife Hélène Muyal-Leiris during the Eagles of Death Metal gig last Friday has been shared thousands of times across the world with its touching message reaching millions.

He also read out the letter to BBC News in Paris.

Writing on the Facebook post about how the gunmen had “stolen” the life of an “exceptional person” and paying tribute to the “love of his life,” Leiris  wrote that he would not give the fanatics the “gift” of hatred despite the fact that they had come looking for it.

“You want me to be scared, for me to look at my fellow citizens with mistrust, for me to sacrifice my freedom for safety, you have lost,” he says.

Leiris goes on to say that he will not allow his toddler son Melvil’s life to be disrupted by the terrorist atrocities which left 129 dead and 352 injured.

“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,”  Antoine writes. “Because you will not have his hatred either.” 

The letter has been shared more than 200,000 times on Facebook and hundreds of thousands of times on other sites. Dozens of tributes have been left by friends.

One person: “I have no words. My whole heart goes out to you.”

In his heart-breaking note, Antoine told how he fell in love with his wife 12 years ago and describes saying goodbye to her on Friday night saying she looked “as beautiful” as when they first met.

Read the full transcript of Antoine’s open letter here:

On Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you won't 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 which you kill indiscriminately made us in his own image, every bullet in the body of my wife will have been a wound in his heart.

So no, I don't give you the gift of hating you. You are asking for it but responding to hatred with anger would be giving in to the same ignorance that made you what you are. 

You want me to be afraid, to view my fellow countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my freedom for security. You have lost.

I saw her this morning. Finally, after many 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'm devastated with grief, I admit this small victory, but it will be short-lived. I know she will accompany us every day and that we will find ourselves in this paradise of free souls to which you'll never have access.

We are two, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of 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. 

Related

hijab muslim.jpg

Man defends Muslim woman on tube targeted in Islamophobic abuse

french students.JPG

Muslim students in France create poignant video in response to Paris

taylor-swift-remembers-her-time-in-paris.jpg

A-listers post tributes to Paris on Instagram

isis.jpg

“I was kidnapped by ISIS as a sex slave”

rexfeatures_605209ae.jpg

Thousands share clip of Casablanca scene to show solidarity with Paris

rexfeatures_5212899a_1.jpg

The best of Parisian street style

charlie hebdo.JPG

Charlie Hebdo cartoonist shares his powerful response to Paris attacks

use.jpg

Woman goes undercover as jihadi girlfriend to lure Isis fighter

Comments

More

US school girl campaigned against her school's tank top ban and won

She arrived at school with the words #IAmNotADistraction on her arm.

by Hayley Spencer
21 Apr 2017

Science has revealed why your Tinder first date is always rubbish

Getting past swiping right can be hard enough

by Jasmine Andersson
21 Apr 2017

This campaign is changing the way images of women are used in media

And it's already had a huge impact.

by Hayley Spencer
21 Apr 2017

Rashida Jones "lifts the veil" on porn industry in new Netflix series

Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On is out today

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Apr 2017

Giraffes to be listed as endangered in bid to prevent “silent extinct”

Environmentalists say we are at risk of the “silent extinction” of the world’s tallest land animal

by Hayley Spencer
21 Apr 2017

Why introverts are more likely to excel in their chosen career path

All hail the quietly powerful

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Apr 2017

This mother and daughter’s cancer battle is inspiring women everywhere

Their story has touched the hearts of social media users

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Apr 2017

Why everyone is talking about Netflix's 13 Reasons Why

From alternate endings to that potential second series

by Jasmine Andersson
20 Apr 2017

This is why your cat won’t stop lying on your things

Nope, they’re not just being irritating on purpose.

by Hayley Spencer
20 Apr 2017

New video for Repeal the 8th campaign makes its point beautifully

The battle for reproductive rights in Ireland will reach fever pitch this weekend

by Elle Griffiths
20 Apr 2017