Thursday, January 04, 2007

Confronting Islam in Minnesota

Common sense is on the move in Minnesota. Islamic Taxi drivers have been denying service to passengers if they have dogs (even service dogs) or carry  alcohol. Muslims feel they are participating in sin if they transport alcohol. Dogs are simply unclean.

At a meeting Wednesday of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), airport staff members asked the commission to give the go-ahead for public hearings on a tougher policy that would suspend the licenses of drivers who refuse service for any reason other than safety concerns.

Drivers who refuse to accept passengers transporting alcohol or service dogs would have their airport licenses suspended 30 days for the first offense and revoked two years for the second offense, according to a proposed taxi ordinance revision.

Source: Tighter airport cab rules proposed

The airport commission is taking the right approach. If drivers don't want to treat passengers by acceptable American standards, they can find a new job. Some people might object, but think about it. If they refuse to carry passengers with alcohol, they can move on to more severe forms of discrimination. What if Muslims decide that transporting single unaccompanied woman were wrong, or what if  they determine Jews were unclean? It is a slippery slope, but it could happen, and the thought is scarry.

 

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3 comments:

chooseDoubt said...

Last time I checked it was a taxi drivers job to take a passenger safely from A to B and that's it. Not to make moral judgements about the passenger. If you let this slip it won't just be refusing to take dogs or alcohol but also refusing locations and all sorts of other madness. Of course, that just makes them useless for the task for which they are employed so economic selection will rapidly extinct that sort of attitude.

chooseDoubt said...

oh, and PS. When I was in India I regulary had Muslim autorickshaw drivers refuse to take me when I was carrying obviously alcohol and I always argued the point and usually they took me in the end. Strangely, I don't remember ever being refused when I was obviously drunk.

aidan said...

The attempt to import Islamic taboos into the workplace is unacceptable. This story reminds me of the case in the UK involving Islamic employees who protested the presence of "pigs" in the office. I mean toy pig figurines, pig illustrations on coffee mugs and such. I hope Minnesota hangs tough on this and doesn't cater to religious correctness - of any sort.