Cabs and Booze

The Minnesota Airport Commission is working with Muslim cab drivers to determine the best way to accommodate both a passengers right to transport alcohol and the religious rights of cab drivers who refuse to transport alcohol. A color coded cab system has been suggested. However, there is also a difference of opinion in religious interpretation:

“Refusing to give a ride to a person carrying alcohol is equal to refusing to haul a drunken person whose body is full of alcohol.” said Dr. Farouq As-Samaraa’i, imam of Al-Huda Mosque in Columbia Heights and a senior member of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of Minnesota, a highly respected body on Islamic theology. “Would a Muslim driver give that person a ride? I bet you they would.” The purpose of the ride, he argues, is not carrying alcohol, but hauling someone from one destination to another, merely on business terms.

According to the Star Tribune, about 75% of the 900 cab drivers at the airport are Somali, of which many are Muslim.

3 Comments so far

  1. Dave Dash (unregistered) on September 30th, 2006 @ 7:36 am

    Granted this is nothing like pharmacists or doctors with their opinions on birth control, etc. But as long as they tell people “oh hey, I don’t feel comfortable with that in my cab, I’ll call you anohter cab to take you home”

    then who cares.

  2. Erica (unregistered) on September 30th, 2006 @ 8:29 pm

    Okay, you know what? If you’re a cab driver, the vast majority of your rides are either taking people to/from the airport, or transporting drunk people out of downtown. So if you don’t want to drive drunk people, you shouldn’t be driving a damn cab.

    Now, if someone’s disorderly and throwing up, then you have a perfectly good reason not to drive them. But it’s not specifically because they’re transporting alcohol in their bodies in your cab.

    Looking at the the less strict interpretation, how often does this come up? I agree, this is not on the order of pharmacists and birth control, but your job is to drive these folks who are paying you money to drive them. If you don’t want to do that, you shouldn’t be driving a cab.

  3. Greg (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 10:03 am

    So as a Christian, if I refused to give a ride to a non-Christian because of my religious belief, do you think the ACLU would enable that? Don’t think so…

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