We partially republish an article from the U.S. daily, Washington Post online: it is datelined Dec. 25, 2015 and it reports an enlightening episode happened in Kenya, Dec. 21. An example of human mercy that helps enterning the new year with increased hopes for mankind.
By Colbert I. King, dec. 25, 2015, Washington Post online
A story this week out of Kenya about compassion, conviction and courage is the perfect antidote to a poisonous year around the world.
On Monday, the al-Shabab terrorist group attacked and forced a bus to stop in Mandera, Kenya. The terrorists boarded the bus and ordered the Muslim and Christian passengers to separate. Their intent was to murder the Christians. Al-Shabab had done this before, when it killed 148 in Garissa, Kenya, in April after asking their religion. Many of those victims were Christians.
It also did it in November 2014, when it killed 28 non-Muslim passengers on a bus traveling to Nairobi.
But this time was different.
From a Newsweek account:
“We even gave some non-Muslims our religious attire to wear in the bus so that they would not be identified easily. We stuck together tightly, Abdi Mohamud Abdi, a Muslim passenger, told Reuters. The militants threatened to shoot us but we still refused and protected our brothers and sisters. Finally they gave up and left but warned that they would be back.
“The local governor, Ali Roba, confirmed the account in an interview with Daily Nation, a Kenyan publication. They refused to separate from non-Muslims and told the attack[ers] to kill all passengers or leave, Roba said. There were 62 passengers on board, according to the paper.”
Muslims do stand up against terrorism.
In these intolerant times, the actions of some Muslims in the face of al-Shabab’s vicious religious hatred is inspiring. But bravery in Kenya is more than an example of followers of Islam defending people who hold different religious beliefs.
A larger lesson needs learning in this fractured world, including here at home. It involves trying to understand the human condition of others. Put yourself in their position, walk in their shoes, bear what they are bearing.