الجمعة، أكتوبر 27، 2006

MB Denies Involvement In The Somali Cab Drivers Controversy


Khaled Salam, IKhwanweb - New York, U.S

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) completely denied any involvement in the current dispute caused by a group of Somali Muslim cab drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, U.S.A, who are refusing to pick up drunk passengers or those carrying alcoholic beverages claiming that Islam prohibits them from driving passengers with Alcohol.
Dr. Mohamed Habib, the first Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, affirmed that Muslim Brotherhood has nothing to do whatsoever with what these Muslim cab drivers believe or view mistakenly as religious decree. Dr. Habib described the cabbies' position as “absurd” and added “Muslims must respect and comply with the laws and regulations of the countries they live in and be a good example for their fellow citizens”
Dr. Habib stated that these drivers are free to believe in whatever they think is right or wrong, however, he strongly condemned them for “trying to impose their own personal believes on society” and stated that those drivers must transport passengers anywhere, “those who are refusing to transport certain passengers are indeed breaking the laws and the regulations sanctioned by the local authorities which prohibit discrimination in any form or shape. “These drivers are ought to look for a different type of work which they feel more comfortable with and which can accommodate their own personal believes without causing hardships for others”. The cab drivers had requested that dispatchers exempt them to pick up passengers heading to liquor stores and bars.
Dr. Habib also stated that these cabbies by transporting drunk passengers are indeed protecting society had these passengers driven their own cars and gotten into accidents that might result into the loss of innocent lives.
Meanwhile, Dr. Habib praised the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which regulates taxi service at the airport, for its patience while for two years has been discussing this issue with cab drivers trying to accommodate them. The commission had earlier agreed to let cabbies use lights on top of the cabs to identify drivers who won't transport alcohol so airport employees could direct passengers with alcohol to a willing driver, but later dropped that proposal after many Muslims themselves denounced the cabbies position.
Several organizations and media outlets in the U.S, driven by their own hatred towards the Muslim Brotherhood, have been engaging in a smear campaign and trying disparately to link the Muslim Brotherhood to the current controversy, which the MB has nothing to do with it. These laughable and despicable reports have capitalized on the controversy they helped to create in the first place and frantically panicked about what they called “the Muslim Brotherhood project to islamize the U.S by imposing the Sharia Law on Americans”, which is utterly ridiculous.
The Muslim Brotherhood views and opinions can only be obtained through its official channels and should not be held responsible for other individuals or entities that might try to associate themselves with the group.
The Muslim Brotherhood follows and promotes a moderate interpretation of Islam, and do not condone radical views. In the contrary, the MB has been always a staunch advocate of tolerance and coexistence among Muslims and people of other religions or cultures.

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