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Muslim Schoolteacher Dies After Shielding Christians From Terrorist Attack in Kenya: 'We Are Brothers'

( [email protected] ) Jan 21, 2016 12:21 PM EST
A sobering report has emerged out of Mandera, Kenya, where a Muslim teacher who shielded Christian fellow passengers when their bus was attacked by Islamist militants has died in surgery to treat his injuries.
Salah Farah, seen here after Al-Shabaab militants shot him during a bus attack in Kenya, died Monday during surgery. VOA News

A sobering report has emerged out of Mandera, Kenya, where a Muslim teacher who shielded Christian fellow passengers when their bus was attacked by Islamist militants has died in surgery to treat his injuries.

According to a report from the BBC,  Salah Farah, a Muslim, was traveling on a bus that was seized by the radical Islamic group al-Shabab, whose stated goal is to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

The terrorists killed two people and wounded four others in the December attack before ordering the Muslim passengers separate themselves from the Christians - but the Muslims on board refused to comply.

"They told us if you are a Muslim, we are safe," Farah recalled to the BBC, "We asked them to kill all of us or leave us alone."

In an effort to protect the Christians on board, the Muslim passengers even gave some non-Muslims their religious attire to wear on the bus so that they would not be identified easily.

Though Farah and several others were shot during the attack, the militants decided to leave after the passengers' show of unity.

CNN notes that over the past several weeks, Farah seemed in good spirits, talking to reporters and his family. But on Monday, during surgery, he died.

The schoolteacher's ultimate sacrifice reflects Jesus' words found in John 15:13, which reads, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."

"People should live peacefully together," Farah told Voice of America earlier this month. "We are brothers. It's only the religion that is the difference, so I ask my brother Muslims to take care of the Christians so that the Christians also take care of us. ... And let us help one another and let us live together peacefully."

According to CNN, Farah's body was flown on a police helicopter to his home where he was buried. Many gathered at his graveside, wept and prayed. His wife, Dunia Mohamed, is nine months pregnant. They have four children.

Mandera County Gov. Ali Ibrahim Roba has promised to help Dunia and provide an education for the children.

Speaking to the Agence France-Presse, Interior Minister Joseph Nkaisser applauded the Muslim Kenyans for their heroism during the attack and emphasized that "these Muslims sent a very important message of the unity of purpose, that we are all Kenyans and that we are not separated by religion...Everybody can profess their own religion, but we are still one country and one people."