Kenya: Muslim Who Shielded Christians in Al-Shabaab Bus Attack Dies

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A Kenyan Muslim who shielded Christian passengers during an Al-Shabaab bus attack last month has died in hospital.

Salah Farah, a teacher in the country, was travelling through Mandera by bus when the vehicle was attacked by Al-Shabaab militants. Mr Farah was among the Muslim passengers who refused to single out Christians and was shot twice for his troubles.

 

‘A true hero’

Following the death of Mr Farah, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet told the Standard that a true hero had been lost. Two people died during the December 22 attack in their efforts to protect Christian passengers, but Mr Farah survived for almost a month in hospital before he succumbed to his injuries.

“We provided a plane to fly the body home to Mandera for burial. This is because the deceased died while trying to shield innocent Kenyans. He is a true hero,” Inspector Boinnet told the Standard.

 

United against terrorism

Mr Farah, who leaves behind five children, was one of numerous Muslim passengers who refused to identify Christians to Al-Shabaab militants. The extremist group is known for sparing Muslims caught up in attacks on the condition they can prove their faith.

The gunmen took a similar approach during the Mandera bus attack, demanding the passengers separate themselves from Christians on board. However, the Muslim passengers refused to cooperate and told the gunmen they would have to kill them all or leave everyone alone.

The act of defiance was praised by global leaders as the world reflected on a year marred by terrorist attacks around the world. Al-Shabaab and other Islamist extremist groups have made every effort to segregate Muslim and Christian communities. However, the Kenyan Muslims caught up in the Mandera bus attack insist all Kenyans are brothers – regardless of religion – and united against terrorism in their country.