Photo Credit: Screenshot / BFMTV
Lassana Bathily, 24, is a hero who saved 6 Jews in the terror siege at Hyper Cacher in Paris on Jan. 8. The Malian will be awarded French citizenship to honor his bravery.

A Mali national who saved the lives of six shoppers at the terror-besieged Paris Hyper Cacher last Friday will be given French citizenship as a reward for his efforts.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called Lassana Bathily, a resident of France since 2006, a “hero” and praised him for his bravery, AFP reported Thursday.

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Amedy Coulibaly had already murdered four people when the 24-year-old devout Muslim, an employee at the kosher grocery, quietly spirited his charges down to the basement and hid them in a walk-in refrigerator. He later escaped the supermarket through the delivery lift and flagged down police during the hostage crisis, giving them information on the layout of the store that was vital to ending the siege. But that was after he first made sure the customers were safe.

“I turned off the light and I turned off the freezer. I left the freezer and told them to stay calm,” Bathily told Israel’s Hebrew-language newspaper, Yediot Acharonot. “I am a devout Muslim, I even pray in the store. We get on excellently, the Jews and I, and the terror attack has hurt me. I have been in shock since it happened.”

Among the people he saved was a tiny 1-month-old baby, but the Malian said his actions were those ‘any human should take’ for others facing a threat from a common enemy.

Bathily’s actions drew worldwide praise, with 220,000 signatures on an Internet petition calling for his naturalization in France.

“We’re brothers. It’s not a question of Jews, Christians or Muslims,” he told French television news channel BFMTV.

“We’re all in the same boat, and we have to help one another to get out of this crisis.”

 

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Never thought I’d say: “Kudos to the French”. In this country, it would take three years for Congress to grant recognition to a guy who explains: “We’re brothers. It’s not a question of Jews, Christians or Muslims,” he told French television news channel BFMTV.“We’re all in the same boat, and we have to help one another to get out of this crisis.”

  2. A just and right reward for a selfless act of courage. My greatest fear is with all the media attention, pictures, etc. – it will make him a "marked target" of evil revenge. Islamic Terrorists thrive on destroying any assemblance of good and righteousness. May God protect him. Shalom from an American Christian

  3. We should invite him to come and live in America! He is an inspiration to all humanity. Maybe he would inspire the America Muslim community to stop being silent and stand up and express some opposition to Islamic extremism.

  4. He is rightfully honored as the hero he is; and, I have to wonder how long it will be before some 'differently' thinking islamic hunts him down and kills him in the name of their moon g-d? Honestly, I don't give him three months if he stays in France.

  5. It's just propaganda ! Don't be naïve ! France needed a ''symbol'' because the monster Coulibaly was Muslim and African !
    The so-called hero Lassana just opened a door for himself and other people too where they hid upstairs ! When Coulibaly asked to the hostages who were downstairs to go upstairs or he would kill everybody, 2 people went upstairs : THEY are the real heroes !!! But Lassana stayed downstairs (and I don't judge him !).
    It's a communist-style propaganda and everybody falls in this trap ! Sorry if I am not politically correct…

  6. His picture and name are all over the media. The other countries should cooperate in getting him out of France for his safety. He should be allowed to apply for asylum in some country like the US, quietly, no media attention, located in a city of his choice, under a different name, with enough funds to get a new start.

    We certainly have enough spy gear to keep track of him for a while if anyone is suspicious that he is not the real deal.

  7. Frederic, I understand that you see it that way, but even if it is so, it is important that he turned off the light and the freezer so that they would not be easily seen by the terrorist. More importantly, perhaps his actions and reward might have an effect on some of the ignorant Muslims who hate Jews?

  8. why the US, why not another country, if he is considered a hero in France that's very good let him stay in France, there is not necessary for him to seek asylum in the US or other country, I wonder if Jackie will provide the funds she is sugesting

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