Salah Farah, Muslim Kenyan who shielded Christians in attack, dies

Salah Farah, a Muslim schoolteacher who shielded Christian fellow passengers when their bus was attacked by militants in northern Kenya, died January 18.

Farah and other Muslim passengers re­fused to separate themselves from Chris­tians on the bus during the Decem­ber 21 attack. They told the militants to kill all 62 people or leave.

The gunmen, suspected to be part of the Somalia-based al-Shabaab, panicked and left, but they shot Farah in the arm and hip first.

In December, while being treated in the hospital, Farah told journalists, “I do not know what got into me, but I knew these were bad people and had to be stopped.”

The Kenyan government described Farah as a true hero.

Wellington Mutiso, an official with the Baptist Convention of Kenya, said Farah’s action demonstrates that not all Muslims support al-Shabaab.

“He laid his life as a ransom for the Christians who would have been killed,” Mutiso said.

Juma Ngao, chairman of the Mombasa-based Kenya Muslims National Advisory Council, said Farah acted according to the teaching of the Qur’an that saving a soul is like saving the whole of mankind. —Religion News Service

This article was edited on February 2, 2016.

Fredrick Nzwili

Fredrick Nzwili is a journalist and media consultant based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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