Jewish World Review Daniel Pipes October 11, 2006
American Muslims demanding ‘infidels’ abide by their rules. One city caves. Will others soon follow?
A minor issue at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) has potentially major implications for the future of Islam in the United States.
Starting about a decade ago, some Muslim taxi drivers serving the airport declared, that they would not transport passengers visibly carrying alcohol, in transparent duty-free shopping bags, for example. This stance stemmed from their understanding of the Koran’s ban on alcohol. A driver named Fuad Omar explained: “This is our religion. We could be punished in the afterlife if we agree to [transport alcohol]. This is a Koran issue. This came from heaven.” Another driver, Muhamed Mursal, echoed his words: “It is forbidden in Islam to carry alcohol.”
The issue emerged publicly in 2000. On one occasion, 16 drivers in a row refused a passenger with bottles of alcohol. This left the passenger — who had done nothing legally wrong — feeling like a criminal. For their part, the 16 cabbies lost income. As Josh L. Dickey of the Associated Press put it, when drivers at MSP refuse a fare for any reason, “they go to the back of the line. Waaaay back. Past the terminal, down a long service road, and into a sprawling parking lot jammed with cabs in Bloomington, where drivers sit idle for hours, waiting to be called again.”
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