October 26, 2006

No Fare


From the Star Tribure: Airport taxi flap about alcohol has deeper significance by Katherine Kersten. (via Little Green Footballs)

The taxi controversy at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has caught the nation's attention. But the dispute may go deeper than the quandary over whether to accommodate Somali Muslim cabdrivers who refuse to carry passengers carrying alcohol. Behind the scenes, a struggle for power and religious authority is apparently playing out. ...

When I asked Patrick Hogan, Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman, for his explanation, he forwarded a fatwa, or religious edict, that the MAC had received. The fatwa proclaims that "Islamic jurisprudence" prohibits taxi drivers from carrying passengers with alcohol, "because it involves cooperating in sin according to the Islam."

The fatwa, dated June 6, 2006, was issued by the "fatwa department" of the Muslim American Society, Minnesota chapter, and signed by society officials.

The society is mediating the conflict between the cab drivers and the MAC. That seems odd, since the society itself clearly has a stake in the controversy's outcome.

How did the MAC connect with the society? "The Minnesota Department of Human Rights recommended them to us to help us figure out how to handle this problem," Hogan said. ...

What is the Muslim American Society? In September 2004 the Chicago Tribune published an investigative article. The society was incorporated in 1993, the paper reported, and is the name under which the U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood operates.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna. The Tribune described the Brotherhood as "the world's most influential Islamic fundamentalist group."Because of its hard-line beliefs, the U.S. Brotherhood has been an increasingly divisive force within Islam in America, fueling the often bitter struggle between moderate and conservative Muslims," the paper reported.

The international Muslim Brotherhood "preaches that religion and politics cannot be separated and that governments eventually should be Islamic," according to the Tribune. U.S. members emphasize that they follow American laws, but want people here to convert to Islam so that one day a majority will support a society governed by Islamic law.

For more on the Muslim taxi controversy, see No Islamic Law in Minnesota, for Now by Daniel Pipes.

A week ago, it appeared likely that Muslim taxi drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport would win special dispensation to avoid transporting alcohol-carrying passengers. The Metropolitan Airports Commission had proposed to give those Shar'i-minded drivers an off-colored light atop their cabs, allowing them to remain in queue while customers with bottles found other cabs.

I opposed this "two-light solution," arguing in "Don't Bring That Booze into My Taxi" that it intrudes Islamic law into a mundane transaction of American commercial life. I urged readers who share my views to write the commission to make known their views.

On October 10, a few hours after my article first appeared, the commission met and reversed itself on the two-light solution.

UPDATE I -- Oct. 28: At Dhimmi Watch, Robert Spencer notices the Sura license plate, which comes as no surprise to me because I learned about it from his highly educational book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). Thanks, Robert.

UPDATE II -- Oct. 30: Regarding the flag on the bumper. Our intention was to create an Islamic perversion of the American flag; thus the crescent and star in the star field. The arrangement looked familiar to us, but it wasn't until after we posted it that John figure out the similarities were to the Malaysian flag. There's enough of a difference in the star that we left it as is. But stories like this one (via LGF) make a Malaysian reference fit: American Couple Has Close Encounter with Shari'a in Malaysia.

Retired American policeman Randal Barnhart, who was subjected to a 2am raid by religious enforcement officers, is reconsidering his plan to make Malaysia his second home. ...

On Oct 12, Barnhart, 62, and his wife Carole, 61, were in their rented condominium in Kuah when enforcement officers continuously knocked on their door at 2am, accusing them of committing khalwat (close proximity).

He said the officers demanded to see his marriage certificate, although he had told them that they were Christians and should not be subjected to Islamic law.

Posted by Forkum at October 26, 2006 05:07 PM