Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

Muslim Hero of Kosher Grocery Siege Gets French Citizenship

The Muslim hero who hid shoppers from an Islamist gunman during an attack on a Jewish supermarket in Paris will be given French citizenship, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

After the gunman had already killed people during a hostage taking in the store on Friday, 24-year old shop attendant Lassana Bathily hid several people in the store’s freezer, turned off the light and told them to stay calm.

Bathily, who was born in the West African nation of Mali, then escaped to look for help. After initially being suspected of being an accomplice, he was able to tell police what was happening inside the store, where four Jewish hostages were killed before police shot gunman Amedy Coulibaly, a Frenchman of Malian origin.

“I helped Jews. We’re all brothers,” Bathily told BFM TV. It’s not a question of Jews, Christians or Muslims, we’re all in the same boat,” he said.

A petition had been going around France over the last week to give Bathily citizenship.

“Following the acts of bravery by Mr Bathily during the hostage taking in the Hyper Casher market on Jan. 9, the Interior Ministry has fast-tracked (his) request for citizenship,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

An official ceremony will be held on Jan 20.

Last week, 17 people were killed in three days of violence that began with an attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly and ended with dual sieges at a print works outside Paris and the kosher supermarket.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at help@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.