Six months ago, the Wahhabist attacks in Paris killed and wounded 500. The number of victims to get financial compensation from the state is now 2,500. A young mother, one of many, including many that some would define as “Muslims”, was killed at the Bataclan, a well-known theater, where a Californian band was performing. She was perforated by bullets. Her husband of 12 years, Antoine Leiris, was watching at home their 17 months old son. The world has been talking about Antoine Leiris’ mood and system of thought.
Hours after the tragedy, Antoine Leiris posted the following touching and admirable thoughts and feelings on Facebook, which became “viral”:
“Friday night you stole the life of a being of exception, 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 it, you’re dead souls. If this God for whom you kill blindly, made us in his image, then every bullet in the body of my wife will have been a wound in his heart.
So no. I won’t make you the gift of hating you. You looked for it well, yet to respond to your hatred by anger would be giving in to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be afraid, you want me to look at my fellow citizens with suspicion, that I sacrifice my freedom for security. You lost. The same player is still playing.
I saw her this morning. At last, after nights and days of waiting. She was as beautiful as when she left that Friday night, as beautiful as when I fell head over heels in love with her more than 12 years ago. Of course I’m devastated by grief. I’ll grant this small victory, but it will not last long. I know she will be with us every day and that we will meet again in this paradise of free souls that you’ll never have access to.
We are two, my son and me, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world. I do not have anymore time to devote to you, I have to be with Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely seventeen months old. He is going to eat his afternoon snack, as he does everyday. Then we will play as we do everyday, and during his entire life, this little boy will make you the affront to be happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.”
For the original French version, see Facebook “Vous N’Aurez Pas Ma Haine”.
Mr. Leiris has now a vocal version of his message, and has been spreading his philosophy.
So what do I think of this?
Sometimes, silence is the best discourse. Respect, sometimes, is best. But I can only take that much:
Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Mr. Leiris is apparently confusing Christianism and Islamism. Same god, but there are subtle differences. In Christianism, we have been created in the image of god, indeed. Whereas in the direct Qur’an, we are his slaves. And in the Qur’an, it is ordered to “set every ambush” for the Non-Believers. Such is the “Verse of the Sword”, Sura 5, verse 9, an ABROGATING verse (meaning it makes all verses which contradict it, invalid). Sura 5, verse 9 follows Luke 19; 27 in the New Testament, showing that Christian viciousness inspired many, and far away, for centuries to come (a Christian monk arguably set the basis of Islam in the mind of his close relative, the “Prophet”, PBUH).
When god is nuts, naivety is no long term strategy.
So what do I think of this avalanche of haughty goodness? Well, it’s a long story. I can see perfectly why Mr. Leiris decided to feel, and think, the way he did. I approve of it. It is a defense mechanism which I have, myself, used many times. Hatred is too serious a subject to be embraced frivolously.
Thus, surprisingly for some, no doubt, ignoring hatred is not a fundamental contradiction from what I deeply advocate. As it turns out, a fundamental debate of the same sort happened during the establishment of the state of Israel.
Same as Israel, or Julius Caesar, a creature born of many subtleties will have many Modi Operandi. Everybody has many Modi Operandi. Real, habitual, virtual, potential… Like everybody else, it turns, out, but even more than everybody else, a would-be philosopher will cultivate perversely an exuberant garden of Modi Operandi (Modes of Operation in Latin; Airbus, a company which makes large flying computers uses a more arrogant concept than M.O., the word “law”. Boeing is affected my the same syndrome. Changing “laws” inappropriately will make a plane crash).
Antoine Leiris’ text is beautiful, it conveys the awesome will of putting love, freedom, play, the positive appreciation of the world, above anything else. Putting only the positively awesome above everything else, is awesome. I will make sure to inform god of this astonishing revelation, reheated a trillion times again. I could, some will say I should, leave it at that, before I become positively obnoxious anymore. And I will restrain myself, in an exceptional moment of respectful self-control.
Just one point: Antoine observed (in an interview on ONPC) that in other people, or in other circumstances, completely different reactions would be much more appropriate. And of this we will talk later, pretty much as we did before. Here is a foretaste:
Grass is made to be trampled on, we are not. That’s how we play, and appreciate. That’s why we can play, appreciate, love, and be awesome. Survival is also a humanism.