CAIRO - A new controversy is brewing in Britain after a Muslim cab driver declined to give a ride for a family carrying a bottle of wine, The Daily Mail reported on Sunday, April 15.
"We all got inside the car and the driver said: Is that alcohol? Adrian Cartwright, 46, wrote on his Facebook page, recalling the incident.
When I said 'yes' he replied: I am sorry but I can't allow it in my cab, it's against my religion.
Cartwright, who was taking his family for dinner at an Indian restaurant near Oldham, Greater Manchester, left the taxi with his family.
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"I knew it wasn't worth arguing so we had to get out.
He quickly complained the driver's behavior to employer Borough Taxis, who have around 70 Muslim drivers.
In response, the employer sacked the Muslim driver.
I expect anyone offering a public service to do the same, and will be contacting the licensing department to suggest that the driver is politely asked to do so, or hand his badge back.
The taxi company has apologized for the family.
We would like to apologize to Mr. Cartwright and his family for any upset or offence caused, it said in a statement.
As soon as the directors heard of the incident an emergency meeting was held and the driver was dismissed with immediate effect only 30 minutes after the incident occurred.
Some Muslim drivers criticized their fellow's behavior.
I am a practicing Muslim, like a lot of the drivers, Fazal Rahim, former chairman of Borough Taxis, said.
This was not a decision based on race or religion, however, but about being a professional taxi driver.
As taxi drivers, we cannot be moral policemen. If I picked a customer up from a pub, should I ask him if he has been drinking? Of course not.
Rahim believes that drivers' only job to give a ride for people whenever they want.
We need to provide a great service to our customers and as a company we have prided ourselves on that for many years, he said.
I don't know the lad in question but I can only put this down to youthful ignorance.
We take people wherever they need to go, whether to a pub, church, mosque or synagogue.Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.5 million.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net