Sunday, April 01, 2007

Does good news about Muslims often get buried under a barrage of bad news?

Muslim cab drivers offer free rides to the blind accompanied by dogs as goodwill gesture

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, with hundreds of waiting taxi drivers behind a nearby SuperAmerica station, has become a focal point of the angst. Nearly 75 percent of the 900 licensed cabbies are Muslim, mostly Somali. And six prayer-leading imams are suing airport management after being pulled from a plane in November.
Airport commissioners have expressed concern about cabbies refusing to pick up fares because of Islamic prohibitions against carrying alcohol. They also worry that Islamic rules about dogs might prompt drivers to decline rides when 300 visitors with guide dogs attend the American Council of the Blind convention in Minneapolis this summer.
Abdinoor Ahmed Dolal, a Muslim cab driver from Kenya, was stunned by the commissioners' concerns. The Qur'an places high value on assisting the disabled, he said. So Dolal says Muslim cabbies have offered to give blind conventioneers free rides to Minneapolis, forgoing the $30 fares as a sign of good will.
"The issues we have are so simple and have nothing to do with extremism or fanaticism," Dolal said. "We are Muslims and we are Minnesotans and if we sit down and listen to each other, we can work things out."

Labels: , ,