French festivals ditch Eagles of Death Metal over singer’s comments

Jesse Hughes alleged he saw Muslims celebrating during Paris attacks and that Bataclan staff were involved in assault

Two French festivals on Friday cancelled shows by Eagles of Death Metal, the band whose 13 November show in Paris turned into a bloodbath, after the frontman made remarks critical of Muslims.

The Rock en Seine and Cabaret Vert festivals took issue with an interview by singer and guitarist Jesse Hughes, who renewed allegations that Muslim staff at the Bataclan club had been involved in the attack.

As we are in total disagreement with Jesse Hughess recent allegations given in an interview with an American media [outlet], both Cabaret Vert and Rock en Seine festivals have decided to cancel the bands performance, said a statement by the two festivals, which take place in late August.

Eagles of Death Metal had briefly become heroes in France after jihadi extremists attacked their concert, killing 90 people in the deadliest of a series of coordinated assaults that claimed 130 lives across Paris.

But Hughes has since proved controversial in his remarks. He is known for his rightwing politics and champions gun ownership as well as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In an interview published last week, Hughes called for greater scrutiny of Muslims in the west and alleged that conservative Christians were unfairly being blamed for global problems.

I saw Muslims celebrating in the street during the attack. I saw it with my own eyes. In real time! How did they know what was going on? There must have been coordination, he told Takis Magazine, a publication from Greek-born conservative commentator Taki Theodoracopulos, which has faced criticism for its writings on race.

Trump has voiced similar allegations of US Muslims celebrating the 9/11 attacks, a claim for which there is no documented evidence.

Hughes alleged that a Bataclan security guard had inquired about the background of his girlfriend, who is of Mexican origin, supposedly with an eye to warning her of the impending attack if she was Muslim.

Hughes in March also gave an interview in which he alleged an inside job. The Bataclan strongly disputed his assertions, saying the clubs security is likely to have saved hundreds of lives.

The singer apologised for the remarks in March, saying that his allegations were absurd and the result of trauma.

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