A short video cut from the speech of President Hollande to the French people after the three days of “terrorist” attacks is doing the rounds online.
In it he uses the word illuminé to describe the attackers. This is seen by many as proof that Hollande is describing the attackers as part of the “illuminati”.
The full sentence is as follows: “Ceux qui on commit ses actes, ces terroristes, ces illuminés, ces fanatiques non’t rien a voir avec le religion Musulmane.”
My translation would be: “Those who committed these acts, these terrorists, these enlightened ones, these fanatics have nothing to do with the Islamic religion.”
However some people whose native tongue is the French language have pointed out that the word illuminé may also mean fou or crazy.
In this case however I would argue that Hollande indeed talks about a group other than Islamic fundamentalists and here is why:
First of all the word illuminés translates perfectly to the word illuminati which like illuminés is the plural form of the latin word illuminatus.
The speech writers for Hollande are, if anything, word smiths for whom every word has a distinct meaning and they would use every word carefully in a speech On National TV.
Secondly, in order to make people who commit these horrible crimes look less heroic and more crazy and despicable generally, the words chosen for presidential speeches would be more along the line of terrorist, crazies, extremists, religious fanatics. Yet Hollande uses a word that is not just ambiguous, it calls into being a connection with something historical, secretive and to some in what is generally called the “Conspiracy theory” community the secret group behind the scenes ruling the world. The word itself describes light, enlightenment, brilliance. Not exaclty what you want to describe murdering terrorist thugs with. If the choice had been illuminé or the word fou (crazy) the second one would have been a much better choice in the conventional way of expression anger and revulsion.
In fact thirdly, here are 13 synonyms for the word illuminé: allumé, brillé, chimérique, éclairci, éclairé, embelli, embrasé, ensoleillé, fanatique, mystique, rêveur, utopiste, visionnaire. Of those 13 words only one describes the perpetrators in a fashion more commonly accepted and that is the word fanatique. Which is the third word used to describe the people Hollande points to as the perpetrators. Every other synonym points to the same quality of light, mystery, vision and myth as the word illuminé.
And lastly, Hollande, rather than pointing the finger squarely at the alleged perpetrators and their Islamic back ground, points away from the Islamic religion entirely as the reason for the attacks when he says that the terroristic, illuminated fanatics who have nothing to do with the Islamic religion committed the crimes.