Muslim hero in Paris kosher market attack honored in New York

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The Muslim store employee who saved 15 French Jews during the terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket was honored in New York.

Lassana Bathily was honored on Friday by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who presented him with an official city proclamation honoring him for his actions in the Hyper Cacher attack in Paris on Jan. 9.

Bathily, a Muslim immigrant from Mali who worked at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris, was in the basement when a gunman entered the kosher store. He hid the Jewish shoppers, including a 2-year-old child, in the supermarket freezer.

Bathily was flown to New York to be honored at the annual scholarship dinner of the NYPD Muslim Officers Society, the New York Daily News reported.

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De Blasio called Bathily a “real hero” who “stood up to protect human life even when his own life is in danger,” according to the newspaper. The meeting took place at the Islamic Center of Brighton Beach.

Earlier in the week, the American Jewish Committee presented Bathily with its Moral Courage Award during its 2015 Global Forum in Washington D.C.

“What I did was place people out of danger and ensure their safety—something everybody can do when they find themselves in such an extreme situation,” Bathily told AJC. “If it were to happen again tomorrow, I would do exactly the same thing because, for me, this is a normal and humane response.”

AJC also conferred two posthumous awards to Dan Uzan, a Jewish volunteer security guard murdered while protecting a Copenhagen synagogue in February; and to Zidan Sief, an Israeli Druze policeman killed while trying to stop a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue last November.

In January, Bathily, who has lived in Paris for 9 years, was granted citizenship at a Paris ceremony after his application, initially filed last summer, was expedited in response to a public campaign on his behalf.

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