For Abdi Mohamed, it’s not a question of whether he’ll carry passengers with alcohol in his cab. The question is whether he’ll get punished for refusing to do so.
“I am Muslim. I’m not going to carry alcohol,” Mohamed, a driver for Bloomington Cab, told a Metropolitan Airports Commission panel that gathered public opinion Tuesday regarding proposed penalties for cabbies who refuse service to passengers carrying alcohol.
Isn’t it amazing that before local and national gubmints starting caving into the …. “special interests”, this was not even an issue?
According to airport officials, about 80 percent of their cabdrivers are Somali, who are commonly Muslim. Islam religious law strictly forbids the carrying of alcohol.
Perhaps they should find a different way to earn a living? This is the U.S. We have a Constitution that prohibits discriminating on the basis of religion. What would a Catholic priest do if carrying a bottle of wine blessed by the Pope is refused service by a Muslim cabdriver? Not saying it’s happened, or would, but “what if”?
Much of the hearing was dedicated to concerns over whether Muslim cabbies would also refuse service to blind passengers with trained guide dogs, because of Muslim prohibitions against interacting with dogs.
Several blind people voiced their concerns, but cabbies at the hearing said such worries aren’t warranted. Refusing service to blind passengers is against federal law.
“I am a Muslim and I have taken many guide dogs,” Abdi Mohamed said.
But the cabbies and their supporters left no doubt that they aren’t flexible on the alcohol issue.
No doubt about it. These folks are in the wrong business. Perhaps they should return to their own countries if they want to follow Islamic law?
Hassan Mohamud, a Muslim imam and adjunct law professor at William Mitchell College of Law, said the Muslim cab drivers are only trying to support their families, both here and in their strife-torn home country, and are being placed in an impossible situation.
They are placing everyone else in “an impossible situation”.
“This is a religious freedom issue, and it will not end here,” Abdi said. “It will go to the courts, even the Supreme Court. The drivers will not relinquish their rights to be protected under American law.”
My religion says I can carry, and even consume, alcohol, in moderation. You are infringing on MY rights.