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News & Politics News & Politics

Muslim Cab Drivers Refuse to Transport Alcohol, and Dogs

Posted by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 8:10 AM
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Muslim Cab Drivers Refuse to Transport Alcohol, and Dogs

Commissioners at one of the country's biggest airports are considering punishing Muslim cab drivers who refuse service to passengers possessing alcohol or guide dogs.

The cabbies claim transporting those items violates Islamic law.

"It is against our faith and the airport is discriminating against Muslim drivers," says a cab driver who would only give his first name, Hashim.

Three-quarters of the 900 cabbies licensed to operate at the airport are Muslim, most from Somalia. It is unclear how many are adhering to this letter of Islamic law which considers the purchase, drinking and transport of alcoholic beverages a sin.

Islam also regards the saliva from dogs to be unclean.

Nearly 40 million people travel through Minneapolis-St Paul airport annually.

Over the past 5 years, airport officials say 5,400 passengers have been turned away.

Some had guide dogs or pets, others were carrying cases of wine from California, or liquor from duty-free shops.

"There are times where cab after cab will refuse service, and passengers can be waiting for 20 minutes," says Patrick Hogan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission. "We've had complaints of people being asked if they had any alcoholic beverages in their luggage."

Hogan admits the instances have declined in recent months with the Department of Homeland Security's restrictions on transporting liquids.

"We were seeing an average of 77 refusals a month," he says, "Now we're seeing between 8 and 20."

The state agency that licenses cab drivers prohibits discrimination against passengers unless the driver feels his life is in danger.

"This is a public access issue," says Chuck Samuelson, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, "Bottom line is we are a secular society, and that's the way it is."

Minnesota's Muslim American Society had offered a compromise measure last year to color code cabs that would not transport alcohol, but the airport commission turned the proposal down.

Currently, cabs that refuse a fare must simply go to the back of the line.

But, under the new proposal, drivers who decline to provide service would face a 30-day suspension of their license. Second offenders would have their licenses revoked.

"This type of job helps immigrants move to the next level," says Hassan Mouhamud, Imam of the AlTaqwa Mosque in St. Paul, and a scholar of Islamic Law.

"Blocking that," he says, "can cost jobs, it can also cost immigrants and their families the American dream."

Mouhamud says there are schools of Islamic thought that allow for compromise.

He says under the Hanafi School of Islamic law, if Muslims live in a country that does not enforce their religious law, they can defer to the written laws of that country.

"American society has a rule of respecting religions," says Mouhamed. " We hope there is room to accommodate all faiths."

"It's not a case of good guys versus bad guys," says airport commission spokesman Patrick Hogan," It's simply individuals who want to do right by their religion, and an airport that wants to do right by its customers."

Matthew 6:24

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

by on Feb. 28, 2014 at 8:10 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Analeigh2012
by Silver Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 8:34 AM
4 moms liked this

Since I spend a good time of my life hiring people - I think these drivers should rethink their choice of job.  The regulations of the job are not to refuse passengers unless life is in danger.  Accepting this job - they need to accept the duties.  I have had people turn down jobs because part of the job description or duties require them to do something they were uncomfortable with or went against their religion.  No harm.  There actually are jobs out there for people who want to work.  

codfish
by Jen on Feb. 28, 2014 at 8:42 AM
4 moms liked this
If they can't perform the duties of the job they should be fired, period.
Ednarooni160
by Eds on Feb. 28, 2014 at 8:43 AM


Quoting Billiejeens:

It's Mooslims -

They are allowed to operate by a different set of rules.


Matthew 6:24

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

BaronSamedi
by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:56 PM
1 mom liked this

  They need to find another line of work.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 2:19 PM
2 moms liked this

I have no problem with this.

Other taxi companies without any such drivers can market themselves differently - and customers can know not to patronize them in the first place.

This could be an excellent marketing strategy for other taxi companies. 

Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the purse.

Works for me.

I suspect affected cabbies and taxi companies could change their policy if their revenues go down.

I wouldn't treat the cab driver as if I were a gay couple trying to put a Christian baker out of business for declining to make a cake for a gay wedding. There are lots of cab drivers where that one came from.

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 2:45 PM

 No problem other than the obvious double standard which is to be expected.

Quoting SallyMJ:

I have no problem with this.

Other taxi companies without any such drivers can market themselves differently - and customers can know not to patronize them in the first place.

This could be an excellent marketing strategy for other taxi companies. 

Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the purse.

Works for me.

I suspect affected cabbies and taxi companies could change their policy if their revenues go down.

I wouldn't treat the cab driver as if I were a gay couple trying to put a Christian baker out of business for declining to make a cake for a gay wedding. There are lots of cab drivers where that one came from.

 

The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend.
Sometimes the Enemy of my Enemy is just another Enemy.
The trick is to know when.
lylalane7275
by Silver Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 2:59 PM
3 moms liked this

I'm with you here Sally.  We are all trying to live in an ever shrinking space, why should anyone have to do anything that make them uncomfortable or compromises their religious beliefs.

Quoting SallyMJ:

I have no problem with this.

Other taxi companies without any such drivers can market themselves differently - and customers can know not to patronize them in the first place.

This could be an excellent marketing strategy for other taxi companies. 

Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the purse.

Works for me.

I suspect affected cabbies and taxi companies could change their policy if their revenues go down.

I wouldn't treat the cab driver as if I were a gay couple trying to put a Christian baker out of business for declining to make a cake for a gay wedding. There are lots of cab drivers where that one came from.


Debmomto2girls
by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:03 PM
They cannot refuse service to people. I could understand not transporting someone intoxicated but that's it.
Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:15 PM

 No worries!

They are Mooslims they won't have to.

Quoting lylalane7275:

I'm with you here Sally.  We are all trying to live in an ever shrinking space, why should anyone have to do anything that make them uncomfortable or compromises their religious beliefs.

Quoting SallyMJ:

I have no problem with this.

Other taxi companies without any such drivers can market themselves differently - and customers can know not to patronize them in the first place.

This could be an excellent marketing strategy for other taxi companies. 

Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the purse.

Works for me.

I suspect affected cabbies and taxi companies could change their policy if their revenues go down.

I wouldn't treat the cab driver as if I were a gay couple trying to put a Christian baker out of business for declining to make a cake for a gay wedding. There are lots of cab drivers where that one came from.

 

 

The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend.
Sometimes the Enemy of my Enemy is just another Enemy.
The trick is to know when.
denise3680
by Gold Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:27 PM

I think they are wrong for doing that.  Religion is a personal thing and if you are in a business that services the public then you should service the public:/

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