ISLAM, THE TAXI DRIVER, AND MY 6 PACK
Reader comment on item: More on Those Alcohol-shy Taxi Drivers
Submitted by Louis Stouch (United States), Oct 17, 2006 at 20:49
A funny thing happened on my way home from the Cleveland airport Friday.
I picked up a cab, and as I usually do chatted up the driver on my way home. Most cabbies won't shut up, but this one was different. I had to pry any conversation from him, and finally stopped trying. But I did learn he was from East Africa, and a muslim.
I decided to stop at a wine and beer beverage store about a mile from my house, and requested my cabbie to pull in. To my surprise, he said "no. No alcohol in the cab". He refused to even pull into the parking lot, just kept driving. I asked if this was ABC Cab Company policy – "no". I asked if this was because he was muslim – "yes".
I must admit, I lost it. A muslim cab driver refusing to allow me to pick up a six pack on my way home – in America. Imposing his religious beliefs on me – in America.
In no uncertain terms, I told him what I thought of his beliefs. And how we don't impose our religious beliefs on others in this country. I got angry. Very angry. And lo and behold, he suddenly changed his tact. If I wouldn't actually drink in the cab, he would stop at the store.
Funny, being only a mile from home I had no intention of drinking in the cab. And why he would assume I would drink in the cab is beyond me, with only a mile to go.
I believe this cabbie to be very smart. And I believe his actions towards me were a test. He wanted to see if I reacted to his imposition upon me of his Islamic beliefs. Had I done or said nothing, he would have confirmed in his mind that we can be pushed around.
Am I suggesting "Ali" is the next Osama bin Laden? Of course not.
Am I suggesting we need to be vigilant against Islamic extremism? You betcha.
Because if we aren't, we could soon see islamists marching through our streets (like they did in London) with signs proclaiming "behead those that insult mohammed" in response to a few silly cartoons.
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