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Susan, Check your assumptions and my comments

Reader comment on item: Don't Bring That Booze into My Taxi
in response to reader comment: jared we are not brainwashed

Submitted by Jared (United States), Oct 11, 2006 at 22:27

I have been accused of many things in my lifetime, but being Muslim, or brainwashed, have never been among them. I am a lawyer with an interest in jurisprudence and comparative law. I was interested in the same thing that apparently caused Dan Pipes to write the article - the tolerance of Shari'a (Islamic law) as a subset of American (in this case, Minnesota) law.

The Pipes article states, "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."

So like Catholics, Orthodox Jews and others who oppose abortion on religions grounds, the anti-alcohol position of the Muslim cab drivers was based on religious belief and law.

How did the civil authorities react to the common carrier (taxis are common carriers under the law) obligation to carry all customers? "MAC proposed a pragmatic solution: drivers unwilling to carry alcohol could get a special color light on their car roofs." This created a Shari'a exemption to the common carrier obligation.

When Catholic doctors and hospitals protested the compulsion of the federal government to perform abortions, the hospitals were threatened with loss of federal funding. No religious exemption was created here. There is the parallel, with a different result.

Pipes properly notes "on a societal level, the proposed solution has massive and worrisome implications. Namely, the two-light plan intrudes the Shari‘a, or Islamic law, with state sanction, into a mundane commercial transaction in Minnesota. A government authority thus sanctions a signal as to who does or does not follow Islamic law."

My concurrence in Pipes position was summed up in my conclusion, "If secular law is going to be the societal norm, it should apply to all equally, regardless of religion."

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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