Sunday, November 19, 2006

Accommodating Muslim Cab Drivers

Muslim cab drivers in Vancouver won't carry dogs - that's OK, Minneapolis shows how to accommodate their beliefs.

Vancouver:
Bruce Gilmour filed the complaint after a cab driver from North Shore Taxi refused to let his guide dog into the cab in January of this year. Gilmour, who says it's not the first time he's been refused service by a taxicab, is complaining that North Shore taxi discriminated against him on the basis of physical disability.

But the taxi driver...is arguing his Muslim religious beliefs will not allow him to take dogs in his taxi, because Muslims can't associate with dogs.

According to documents filed with the Human Rights Tribunal, North Shore Taxi said about half of their drivers are "unable to take animals in their taxis due to medical or religious reasons."

Minneapolis:

For some time, hundreds of Muslim cabdrivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport have been refusing fares that they know are carrying alcohol.

These fare refusals happen frequently enough that the airport and drivers have "worked out a proposal that calls for cabdrivers who won't carry alcohol to have a cab light that's a different color. That way, the airport workers who hook up travelers with taxis can steer alcohol-carrying fares to cabs that will take them."
But Minnesotans objected:
Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan reported that the Commission received 400 e-mails and phone calls, almost all of which opposed the proposal. Thus, the Commission rejected it, leaving the current policy in place. As USA Today reports, the current policy "says drivers who will not transport alcohol must go to the back of the taxi line."
Both solutions work for Vancouver - Muslim cab drivers just need to show a special light to warn fares hailing them on the street that they won't carry dogs, alcohol, inappropriately dressed women, etc. And if they refuse a fare at the airport, they get sent to the back of the line.

This way Muslim passengers get to choose Muslim cabbies, and the rest of us can avoid them.


What's not to like?