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Sunday, January 11, 2015

"we are brothers"

''Lassana Bathily, a Muslim employee at Paris Kosher grocery store Hyper Cacher, saved several people by hiding them in a walk-in freezer when a gunman laid siege to his workplace on Friday. [...] Bathily, identified by French media as a "Malian Muslim," helped several customers to safety as the chaos unfolded. "I went down to the freezer, I opened the door, there were several people who went in with me. I turned off the light and the freezer," Bathily, 24, told French network BFMTV. "I brought them inside and I told them to stay calm here, I'm going to go out. When they got out, they thanked me."[...]

Bathily told BFMTV that he managed to get out of the store through the freight elevator. When he encountered police, they seemed to initially mistake him for one of the terrorists. "They told me, get down on the ground, hands over your head," he said. "They cuffed me and held me for an hour and a half as if I was with them." He said that he then helped police with his knowledge of the floor plan of the store. The young man is being lauded as a hero on social media, and held up as a reminder of how wrong it is to demonize all Muslims in the wake of the attacks. You can watch his interview with BFMTV in French above. UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: Bathily appeared on BFMTV Saturday night to talk about the harrowing experience. When asked about his heroic acts, he replied, "We are brothers. It's not a question of Jews, of Christians or of Muslims. We're all in the same boat, we have to help each other to get out of this crisis."''