“Free Muslims” condemn cab drivers’ boycott of tipsy passengers

From the Free Muslims Coalition, Oct. 12:

Free Muslims Condemn Muslim Cab Drivers who Refuse to Pick Up Alcohol Carrying Passengers

The Free Muslims Coalition, a national Muslims organization, condemns Muslim cab drivers who refuse to pick up passengers who carry alcoholic beverages.

Recently a dispute arose over a large number of Somali taxi cabdrivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport who are refusing to take passengers who carry wine or alcoholic beverages. These drivers are claiming that Islam prohibits them from driving passengers with alcohol. The cab drivers also asked dispatchers not to call them to pick up passengers heading to liquor stores and bars.

The drivers, whose beliefs are not shared by most Muslims, say the airport should accommodate a deeply held religious tenet. Others say the Muslims are discriminating against people of other faiths and attempting to impose Islamic law on non-Muslims.

For two years the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which regulates taxi service at the airport, had been in discussions with cab drivers about how to accommodate them. The commission said it had agreed to let cabbies use lights on top of the cabs to identify drivers who won’t transport alcohol so airport employees could direct passengers with alcohol to a willing driver.

However, the proposal created a public backlash by non-Muslims and Muslims who don’t agree with the cab drivers. Consequently, the commission rejected the proposal. That means those drivers who will not transport alcohol must go to the back of the taxi line which can force a cabbie to wait another three hours for a fare.

Most Muslims don’t agree that cab drivers are prohibited from transporting alcohol. Islam merely prohibits Muslims from drinking alcohol and those drivers are seeking to impose their religious values on others. The Free Muslims Coalition is disgusted by their behavior.

When the cab drivers chose to drive a cab they interred into an agreement to perform a public service that is essential to the economy of any city. They have no right to refuse a fare because the passenger is holding a bottle of wine or other spirits.

The Free Muslims Coalition believes that the cab drivers should be banned all together from picking up passengers at the airport and we would even support the cancellation of their taxi permits.

These Somali drivers are choosing to impose a minority view in Islam on the general population and this is simply unacceptable.

See our last post on the struggle within Islam.

  1. A plague on all their houses
    Which is more appalling: the seemingly endless upsurge of intolerant Muslim puritanism, or the rush by right-wing Islamophobes to exploit it for their own propaganda? It seems they are throwing a few purely fictional instances into the mix for good measure–such as the supposed jihadist outrage at New York’s new “Apple Cube” (which happens to be really fucking ugly). From the Apple Gazette (arguably not the most objective source–the “Apple” in question is the computer, not the Big Apple):

    The website that originally “cited” the story about Muslims raging over the Apple Cube is the Middle East Media Research Institute, an oft-criticized group that supposedly translates Arabic media into english. Now MEMRI recently put out a republished/translated statement claiming that somebody in the Muslim community was offended by the Apple’s NYC Cube store, supposedly because it looks like the Ka’ba (the House of Abraham). Sites like ZDNet and TUAW soon followed suit, spreading the story–particularly in the Apple user community–that the Muslim community was offended by Apple’s NYC cube.

    Apple lovers and armchair social scientists alike were quick to the draw with their criticisms of the Muslims who were allegedly offended by the Cube. The “issue” has just started an all-out flamewar.

    What really makes me angry is that under the guise of news about Apple (which we all love), a blatant flat-out lie was perpetuated. The reality of the matter was that it was a random post on a random website, without a single supporting name or organization to reflect the “muslim community’s outrage.” The MEMRI article did not even link to, nor identify, the Arabic news source it was supposed to be citing or translating!

    If you look again into MEMRI’s background, the organization seems to be a source not known for being unbiased.

    Now I wouldn’t be one to pass judgement quickly, but given these irregularities, I would tend to think that this is plain propaganda aimed at discrediting the Muslim community.

    What’s even worse is that some people have exploited our passion for Apple for political purposes. There is no place for that crap.

    1. A plague on all their houses
      “Which is more appalling: the seemingly endless upsurge of intolerant Muslim puritanism, or the rush by right-wing Islamophobes to exploit it for their own propaganda?”

      How about not doing anything ‘cept bitching until “intolerant Muslim puritanism”, in the name of embracing multiculturalism, becomes the law of the land? Transporting alcohol against someone’s religion? Ban it so that all religions can be cab and bus drivers without conflict. Bare women’s faces in public offends? All women must wear veils so that none among us might be offended.

      Don’t complain about those who oppose unless you are willing to embrace the wishes of those being opposed.

      On the battlefiled, the middle-ground is known as no-man’s land. Squat there at your own peril.