24 y.o. Muslim employee saved hostages at Paris kosher market

A really remarkable story out of Paris, of how a young Muslim supermarket employee helped save a number of his store’s clients during the recent hostage standoff in Paris.

You know by now that terrorists killed the staff, and two policeman, at the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The next day, another terrorist, allied with the Charlie Hebdo kilers, took over a dozen people hostage at a local kosher supermarket.

What you might not have heard is that a 24 year old employee of that supermarket, Lassana Bathily — a Muslim originally from Mali in west Africa — saved the lives of at least 6, and as many as 20, of the hostages, including an infant.

The woman was originally thought to be one of the hostage-takers, now she is thought to have been an accomplice.

The woman was originally thought to be one of the hostage-takers, now she is thought to have been an accomplice who was not at the raid itself.

When the terrorist entered the store he immediately fired his weapon. A number of the clients in the store ran to the back, and went down some stairs to the basement. Bathily, thinking fast, directed everyone into the store’s freezer, then turned off the lights and the refrigeration system.

At some point, the terrorist realized there were people hiding downstairs, and sent another store employee down to tell them that they’d better come up, or they’d all be killed.

The people hiding weren’t sure what to do. Bathilly came up with an idea: Use the freight elevator (those things that come up right underneath the sidewalk) to escape.

But the hostages were scared the gunman would hear the noise and kill them all. So Bathily went on his own, took the elevator, and escaped.

He was immediately apprehended by the police, handcuffed and interrogated for an hour and a half. Ultimately, the cops believed him, and he was able to give them vital intelligence which helped with their final raid.

So at this point, we have a Muslim hero cop who died defending Charlie Hebdo, a Muslim supermarket employee who helped save hostages in a kosher store, and, I’m told, a Muslim police officer who led the raid on the store.

People keeping asking Muslims to speak up.

And they did.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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