Muslim Taxi Drivers At US Airport Refusing Rides To Airline Passengers With Duty-Free Liquor
BFP’s article Cricket World Cup: Special Meals, Prayer Rooms For Pakistan Muslim Team… But What About The Toilets? had a high readership and a fair number of comments. This morning I was surfing from link to link about Muslim religious customs and such – and I ended up reading about a dispute at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in the United States.
It seems that Muslims operate about 75% of the taxis at the airport – and they refuse to take arriving passengers who are carrying bags of duty-free liquor. When there were only a few Muslim cab drivers, this didn’t present a problem as there were lots of other taxis willing to take a refused passenger.
When 75% of the taxi drivers insist that passengers conform to the Muslim religious standards, I can imagine that it becomes an issue. The obvious follow-up question is whether the Muslim taxi drivers would also refuse a fare if the passenger was carrying a bag that said “pork products”. Seems likely to me.
I wonder whether airline passengers at Grantley Adams International Airport would be forced to conform to Islamic religious standards if Muslims made up 75% of the taxi drivers in Barbados?
by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
October 10, 2006
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.”
… finish reading the entire article (link here)