Man Whose Wife Died in Paris Tells ISIS: 'You Don't Get the Gift Of Me Hating You'
A man whose wife was killed in the Paris attacks sent a defiant message to her attackers, telling them: "I will not give you the gift of hating you."
Antoine Leiris lost his wife, 35-year-old Helene Muyal-Leiris, during the attack inside the Bataclan concert hall on Friday night, and their 17-month-old son Melvil lost his mother.
"We are only two, my son and I, but we are more powerful than all the world's armies," Leiris wrote in a powerful Facebook post. "Every day of his life this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom."
The post by Leiris, pictured in his Facebook profile picture below, had been shared nearly 100,000 times by Tuesday morning.
"On Friday night 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," he wrote in the post, which was translated by ITV. "I do not know who you are and I don’t want to know, you are dead souls."
"I will not give you the gift of hating you. You have obviously sought it but responding to hatred with anger would be to give in to the same ignorance that 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. Lost. Same player, same game."
He also described seeing his wife for the last time, and seeing her body days later.
"I saw her this morning," he wrote. "Finally, after nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as she was when she left on Friday evening, as beautiful as when I fell madly in love with her more than 12 years ago.
"Of course I'm 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 a paradise of free souls which you will never have access to."
Rather than spending time on hate, he will focus on his son, he said.
"I need to get back to Melvil who is waking up from his afternoon nap," he wrote. "He's just 17 months old; he’ll eat his snack like every day, and then we’re going to play like we do every day. Every day of his life this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom. Because no, you won't have his hatred either."
The attacks claimed the lives of at least 129 people and President Francois Hollande announced a state of emergency.