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Got wine at the airport? It's harder to grab a cab (in Minneapolis)

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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:13 PM
Original message
Got wine at the airport? It's harder to grab a cab (in Minneapolis)

StarTribune.com

Got wine at the airport? It's harder to grab a cab

About three-quarters of the 900 taxi drivers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are Somalis, many of them Muslim. About three times daily, would-be customers are refused taxi service when a driver sees they're carrying alcohol.

John Reinan, Star Tribune
September 28, 2006

When flight attendant Eva Buzek returned to Minneapolis from a trip to France, five taxi drivers refused to take her home from the airport. The reason? She had two bottles of wine in her suitcase -- and the drivers were Muslims, who don't drink and refuse to have alcohol in their taxis.

About three-quarters of the 900 taxi drivers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are Somalis, many of them Muslim. And about three times each day, would-be customers are refused taxi service when a driver sees they're carrying alcohol.

(snip)

Now the airports commission has a solution: color-coding the lights on the taxi roofs to indicate whether a driver will accept a booze-toting fare. The actual colors haven't been decided on yet, but commission officials met Thursday with representatives of the taxi drivers and the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society to continue working on the plan.

The airports commission has struggled with the issue for several years. Alcohol is a serious concern for devout Muslims, said Hassan Mohamud, an imam and vice president of the society. The Qur'an, Islam's holy book, strictly forbids buying, selling, drinking or carrying alcohol. The observant drivers object only to transporting openly displayed alcohol, said Ali Culed, a Somali Muslim who's been driving an airport cab for eight years. They won't search passengers or quiz them about what's in their bags.

"(snip)

http://www.startribune.com/462/story/709262.html

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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm sorry, I file this in the same spot as Fundy Pharmacists who refuse
to fill BC prescriptions.

If your religious beliefs interfere with your ability to do your job within the context of the laws of the state (birth control and alcohol both being legal, for the time being at least), then you either need to adjust your head to the situation, or you need to find another line of work.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. exactly. it is legal to carry sealed bottles of alcohol
therefore a taxi cannot discriminate on that basis. If they don't want to transport legal cargo, they should be required to place a sign on the outside of the taxi stating so. They should also be forbidden from picking up passengers at public accomodations like airports. Sorry, them's the breaks.
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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. Spot on...
I wonder how this would play out in court: if it is illegal to refuse service to someone based on race, ethnicity, religion, and so on, would it/should it also be illegal to refuse service to someone who doesn't conform to your religion?
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Suich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:20 PM
Original message
How do the drivers even know that these people
have wine INSIDE their suitcases?

:shrug:
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Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
5. lol, that's exactly what I was thinking.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
10. Duty-free purchases of alcoholic beverages aren't inside baggage
... and are often in "easy carry" packages with plenty of advertising. Nonetheless, unless the bottles are opened I don't see where the cabbie has a gripe. Since when do we get to impose our personal religious beliefs on others under the color of a "public service"??
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. I guess if folks want a ride from a devout muslim it's not too much to ask
...that they cover their alcohol. Seems like a simple solution would be to just post some signs-- "Muslim taxi drivers require that alcoholic beverages be packed in luggage" or something similar.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. And how is one expected to know who is a "devout muslim?"
And you often carry alcohol as carry on (don't know about the recent rules, though, about carrying liquid).

I agree with the first post - if your religion makes it difficult for you to perform a job, then change jobs. Taxis are expected to chauffeur their customers to where they want to and, unless specifically asked to participate in illegal activities - like that Tom Cruise movie - it is none of their business what's in the customers' luggage.

What would be next? Refusing to chauffeur scantily clad women? Or someone who "reads" a porno magazine while in the taxi?
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. It is too much to ask
Why should I have to "accommodate" their mythology?
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. No, if a devout muslim wants to have a job as a cab driver
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 02:50 PM by impeachdubya
they need to adapt to reality. Just like a devout fundamentalist anti-birth control Christian who wants a job as a Pharmacist.

What if they demanded that all women passengers in their cabs wear veils?
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Well said
Remember that woman, in Florida, I think, who refused to remove her veil for the DMV photo?

How is one supposed to know whether she was the driver? I don't remember how it ended.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
9. I don't grok this....
What will they do next, refuse a woman who is not dressed as they believe?

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