Lassana Bathily is the 24 year old African migrant black Muslim man who found employment at the Hyper Cache kosher grocery store in Paris, and heroically saved the lives of seven Jews when he shepherded them to the safety of the freezer there, and switched the light off, before returning to the shop floor which was under siege from an lone anti-Semitic terrorist gunman on January 10, 2015. Jewish lives were lost that day, namely those of Yoav Hattab aged 22, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen aged 22, and Francois-Michael Saada aged 64.  Baruch Dayan Emet.

But for Lassana's heroic actions, the 7 lives he saved would also have been lost.  He reportedly said "We are brothers, it's not a question of Jews, of Christians or of Muslims, we are all in the same boat, we have to help each other to get out of this crisis". However, he was arrested and handcuffed by French Gendarmerie for 90 minutes on the presumption that he was a co-conspirator of the gunman.  Lassana Bathily has since officially been promised the award of French citizenship, after 300,000 citizens petitioned the French government to recognize the bravery of his actions.

So what next for Lassana Bathily, and what next for the State of Israel and Jewish and Islamic international relations?  Can a black Muslim be recognized as a righteous gentile?  When other gentiles risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis, their actions were officially recognized by the State of Israel who bestowed the honor of 'Righteous Gentile' or Ger Toshav status on them.  

Although Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly thanked Lassana Bathily for his bravery in saving the lives of the 7 Jews, he has yet to announce publicly whether he is considering honoring Lassana as a 'Righteous Gentile', and if not why not, and if so, when this will happen.  Clearly, Lassana Bathily represents everything that is positive about humanity and shows that we must not condemn people based solely on their religion, rather, we must judge people by their actions, and reward them when their actions are so deserving.



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