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Jumatano, Septemba 27, 2023 Local time: 21:31

Kenyan Muslim Shot While Protecting Christians Dies of Injuries

Salah Sabdow Farah was shot when the bus he was traveling in was attacked by al-Shabab militants in December 2015. He is recovering at Nairobi's Kenyatta National Hospital in January 2016.(J. Craig/VOA)

A Kenyan Muslim who was shot after refusing to be separated from Christian passengers when al-Shabab attacked his bus in northeastern Kenya in December, died Sunday evening at Nairobi’s Kenyatta National Hospital.

Salah Sabdow Farah, 34, was shot in the hip during the ambush and taken to Mandera hospital, before being flown to Nairobi on December 23 for more medical care.

During an interview with VOA in early January from his hospital bed, Farah said that Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims and Christians are neighbors.

'We are brothers'

“People should live peacefully together, 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,” he said at the time.

Farah’s cousin Ibrahim Mohamed Salah said he believes Farah did the right thing on the bus that day.

“I’m a Kenyan Muslim, you see, people want to divide us on the basis of religion, which is very wrong. We’re all human beings, we share the same values, trying to divide us on the basis of religion is something unacceptable, so we must stand with each other. United we shall stand and succeed; divided, we shall fall and fail,” Salah said.

Salah said that his cousin will be missed.

“He was a very nice man, a member of the family, somebody very jovial, a religious man, a very young man, full of life,” he said.

Militants ambushed bus

During the December attack, the militants shot at the bus, before demanding that passengers disembark and divide themselves by religion.

The passengers refused, and according to press reports, the Muslim passengers confronted the gunmen, telling them to kill all the passengers or leave them alone. The militants chose the latter option.

Farah was buried Tuesday in Rhamu, approximately 72 kilometers west of Mandera.

The primary school teacher and deputy headmaster leaves behind four young children and a pregnant wife, his cousin, Salah, said.