Bono on Terrorism: Don’t ‘Become a Monster to Defeat a Monster’

By Amanda Wicks

Bono recently spoke with The New York Times about their upcoming shows in Paris, and discussed the terror attacks in that city last month:  “There’s a line I’ve been using since, which is that in Ireland we know not to become a monster in order to defeat a monster.”

The U2 frontman seems be a bit critical about the way the U.S. has reacted to those attacks. He says that the terrorists were “trying to steal equality and justice. In fact, from some of the reaction and overreaction—i.e. we’ll only take in Christian refugees—you can say they had a direct hit. If they change us, then they were effective.

Related: Artists Cancel European Dates in Wake of Paris Attacks

Bono spoke with the New York Times about the band’s decision to head back to Paris when so many other artists are canceling their European tours. “U2 doesn’t have a history of canceling many shows,” he says. “I suppose the Irish in us just doesn’t want to give in to terrorism. We’ve had it all our lives.”

As more attacks and gun violence take place in leisure sites—movie theaters, concert halls, etc.—U2 sees their place as a counter-balance. He says, “ISIS and these kinds of extremists are a death cult. We’re a life cult. Rock ’n’ roll is a life force, and it’s joy as an act of defiance. That’s what U2 is. That’s at the very heart of our band. More importantly in this case, it’s the very heart of our audience. I can now already hear that we will be drowned out by that French crowd. And that’s powerful.”

U2’s Paris shows, on December 6 and 7, will be the last on their current tour. The shows were rescheduled following the November 13th attacks.

HBO plans to broadcast the second show on December 7 at 9pm EST.

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