Policeman killed at Charlie Hebdo and clerk who hid Jews at Kosher supermarket.
As the world mourns the victims of the Paris attack, we should also recognize two acts of bravery by Muslims in the course of the week’s events at the Charlie Hebdo offices and Hyper Casher Kosher supermarket.
The first is Ahmed Merabet, a French policeman who was killed at Charlie Hebdo.
Anne Penketh of The Guardian recognized him in a recent report:
Policeman Ahmed Merabet mourned after death in Charlie Hebdo attack
It was a Muslim policeman from a local police station who was “slaughtered like a dog” after heroically trying to stop two heavily armed killers from fleeing the Charlie Hebdo offices following the massacre.
Tributes to Ahmed Merabet poured in on Thursday after images of his murder at point blank range by a Kalashnikov-wielding masked terrorist circulated around the world.
Merabet, who according to officials was 40, was called to the scene while on patrol with a female colleague in the neighbourhood, just in time to see the black Citroën used by the two killers heading towards the boulevard from Charlie Hebdo.
“He was on foot, and came nose to nose with the terrorists. He pulled out his weapon. It was his job, it was his duty,” said Rocco Contento, a colleague who was a union representative at the central police station for Paris’s 11th arrondissement.
Video footage, which has now been pulled from the internet, showed the two gunmen get out of the car before one shot the policeman in the groin. As he falls to the pavement groaning in pain and holding up an arm as though to protect himself, the second gunman moves forward and asks the policeman: “Do you want to kill us?” Merabet replies: “Non, ç’est bon, chef” (“No, it’s OK mate”). The terrorist then shoots him in the head.
The second is a 24 year old shop assistant named Lassana Bathily. As horrific events unfolded at the Super Cacher kosher supermarket, Bathily saved the lives of French Jews by hiding them in the walk-in refrigerator of the store.
Heather Saul of The Independent:
Paris shootings: Muslim man hailed a ‘hero’ for hiding hostages in Jewish supermarket’s walk-in refrigerator:
A young Muslim man has been hailed a hero for hiding hostages fleeing gunman Amedy Coulibaly after he stormed the Jewish supermarket.
Lassana Bathily, originally from Mali in west Africa, reportedly shepherded terrified customers to safety in a walk-in chiller as the jihadist gunman took hold of the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes, Paris, on Friday.
Coulibaly executed four of the 19 hostages before police entered the building and ended the assault, killing the gunman as he ran to the front door.
Mr Bathily has been praised for his quick-thinking actions since his role in helping customers. He told BFMTV: “When they ran down, I opened the door (from the freezer).
“There are several people who came to me. I turned off the light, I turned off the freezer.
“When I turned off the cold, I put them (hostages) in, I closed the door, I told them to stay calm.”
Reports in France state Mr Bathily, 24, helped lead six people to safety.
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