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Some Sobering Lessons From Muslim Taxi Drivers (Dennis Prager Looks At Muslim Intolerance Alert)
Townhall.com ^ | 10/17/06 | Dennis Prager

Posted on 10/17/2006 12:02:31 AM PDT by goldstategop

Understandably, those troubled by the contemporary Muslim world point to the amount of gratuitous violence emanating from it and the apparent absence of Muslim anger against it.

In response, Muslim defenders of their faith -- and Western defenders such as Karen Armstrong and John Esposito -- inform us that the terror, suicide and cruelty that emanate from a portion of the Muslim world are all aberrations. We are assured that the average Muslim is as appalled as all other decent people are by Muslims who torture, decapitate and blow up innocent people.

Some recent news items from Britain, Australia and the United States, however, suggest that we can make a more accurate assessment of contemporary Islam by looking beyond Islamic terror and beyond the lack of Muslim opposition to it.

I am referring to news reports not about Muslim terrorists but about the far more mundane group of religious Muslims who happen to be taxi drivers. In Britain and Australia, Muslim taxi drivers refuse to pick up passengers who have a dog with them -- even when the passenger is blind and the dog is a Seeing Eye dog. Nearly all religious Muslims believe that Islam forbids them to come into contact with dogs. Therefore, Muslim taxi drivers will even drive by a blind person standing in the cold, lest they come into contact with the dog.

And in Minneapolis, Minn., Muslim taxi drivers, who make up a significant percentage of taxi drivers in that city, refuse to pick up passengers who have a bottle of wine or other alcoholic beverage with them.

This is significant. We are not talking here about Muslim fanatics or Muslim terrorists, but about decent every day Muslims. And what these practices reveal is something virtually unknown in Judeo-Christian societies -- the imposing of one's religious practices on others.

Now, many of those with a graduate degree in the humanities, and others taught how not to think clearly, will object that religious Christians do exactly this sort of thing when they try to impose their religious views on abortion, for example, on society.

But there is no analogy between a Muslim not allowing a non-Muslim to bring a bottle of wine or a dog into a Muslim-driven taxi and Christians trying to convince a democratic society to outlaw most abortions.

There is no comparing ritual prohibitions with moral prohibitions. Christians argue that taking the life of a human fetus where the mother's life is not endangered is immoral. And so do religious Jews (and Muslims) and many secular individuals -- because the issue of abortion is a moral issue. Contact with dogs, on the other hand, is a ritual issue, not a moral issue. Which is why non-Muslims do not consider it immoral -- unlike the many non-Christians who consider most abortions immoral.

And Christians and others who deem abortions immoral when the mother's health is not threatened have as much right to argue for passing laws banning most such abortions as other citizens do to pass laws banning racial discrimination.

Ah, the skeptic may argue, but what if Muslims deem human contact with a dog (except, according to Muslim jurists, for security purposes, farming and hunting) an immoral act, not just a ritually prohibited act for Muslims?

If indeed such were the Muslim argument, we would have an example of an unbridgeable difference between a Muslim conception of morality and that of non-Muslims.

There is then no analogy between Christians wanting to use the democratic process to ban a practice regarded by hundreds of millions of non-Christians as immoral and the Muslim ban on human contact with dogs, a practice regarded by no non-Muslims as immoral.

The appropriate analogy to Muslim taxi drivers refusing to take passengers accompanied by a dog or carrying a bottle of wine would be religious Jewish taxi drivers refusing to take passengers eating a ham sandwich or Mormon drivers refusing to take passengers drinking alcoholic or caffeinated drinks.

But such Jewish or Mormon examples don't exist (and if they did, religious Jews and Mormons would regard such persons as crackpots). They do not exist because Jews and Mormons do not believe that non-Jews are required to change their behavior owing to Judaism's or Mormonism's distinctive laws. Religious Muslims, on the other hand, do believe that wherever applicable, non-Muslims should change their behavior in the light of Islam's distinctive laws. And that difference is at least as important to Muslim-non-Muslim relations as the vexing issue of violent Muslims.

As for the difference between fundamentalist Muslims and fundamentalist Christians, a Christian mailman in Denver called my radio show to say that despite his profound religious objections to pornography, he could not imagine objecting to delivering even the raunchiest porn to homes that ordered it. First, religious non-Muslims, especially in America, believe that liberty, too, is a religious value; that is why Christians put a quote about liberty from the Torah on the Liberty Bell. And second, they have no doctrine that holds outsiders bound to their religious practices.

And that is why there may be more to be learned about the future of religious Muslims' relations with non-Muslims from Muslim taxi drivers than from Muslim terrorists.


TOPICS: Editorial; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: america; christians; dennisprager; dhimmitude; islam; jews; nonmuslims; taxidrivers; tolerance; townhall
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The ordinary everyday encounter betwen Muslix taxi drivers and non-Muslim customers provides a revealing insight into Muslim regard for non-Muslims: the absence of tolerance for the Other's religious beliefs or the absence of them. One can't imagine the most pious Jew or Christian imposing their religious beliefs on others but Muslims insist non-Muslims observe Islamic beliefs whether they want or not. That is why there's a lot more to be learned as Dennis Prager notes from how Muslim taxi drivers treat non-Muslim customers than from Muslim terrorists who blow infidels up. The difference in attitude towards non-Muslims then is merely one of means as opposed to principle. Which is why its so disturbing to witness the repeated imposition of Muslim beliefs on those who want nothing to do with Islam in what are supposed to be free societies.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus

1 posted on 10/17/2006 12:02:32 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
Who owns the taxi?

If it is the driver's car then fine. Let them starve.

If it is a company car that doesn't share the Muslim's beliefs then fire them. Labor laws darn well better not prevent them from being fired. They are not performing their job function. No different than a Mormon trying to get a job as a bar tender and refusing to serve alcohol...
2 posted on 10/17/2006 12:16:53 AM PDT by DB ()
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To: goldstategop
but about decent every day Muslims

The phrase "decent Muslim" is an oxymoron.....
3 posted on 10/17/2006 12:25:39 AM PDT by Kozak (Anti Shahada: " There is no God named Allah, and Muhammed is his False Prophet")
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To: Kozak
Why should non-Muslims be required to abide by what is after all a ritual than a moral prohibition? Transporting a non-Muslim's dog or liquor would not endanger a Muslim's soul; he's not asked to adopt either one but just to get a non-Muslim with those goods to where the non-Muslim wants to go. In a free society, every one has to observe the same moral rules but people can differ as to whether they care to observe some particular religious ritual obligation.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus

4 posted on 10/17/2006 12:33:27 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: DB

Ironically, I see liberalism hung by it's own petard. Do we have the freedom to associate with who we wish? Well, an "all male" or "non-Jewish" country club is automatically evil, and must be considered bigoted, and therefore destroyed. Can a business only allow "certain" people inside? I must admit I am torn on this issue. Part of me thinks this is blatant discrimination that wouldn't be tolerated for a second by liberals in any other situation. On the other hand, is this guy allowed to be a bigot, or retard, or intolerant jackass? Should it be all economic? If he refuses to pick up "evil" people with alcohol, then shouldn't he therefore suffer the consequences of losing out on paying customers?


5 posted on 10/17/2006 12:36:47 AM PDT by boop (Now Greg, you know I don't like that WORD!)
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To: goldstategop
How about all these Muslims who work in convenience stores that sell beer?

What if I were to get in the cab and eat a hot dog or sausage sandwich? Will that be next?

6 posted on 10/17/2006 12:41:27 AM PDT by Texas Mom (Two places you're always welcome - church and Grandma's house.)
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To: boop
"Should it be all economic? If he refuses to pick up "evil" people with alcohol, then shouldn't he therefore suffer the consequences of losing out on paying customers?"

You bet and should those who are not bringing alcohol in the cab decide they don't want a Muslim driver?

7 posted on 10/17/2006 12:44:21 AM PDT by Texas Mom (Two places you're always welcome - church and Grandma's house.)
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To: boop

Any driver who participates in this nonsense should deal with more than the loss of one fare.

Taxis are a regulated public utility, requried to take all legal business, in exchange for market protection from unlicensed competitors.

The proper response is to yank the guy's taxi license.

(Or get government out of the taxi regulating bidness...but that's a topic for a different thread...)


8 posted on 10/17/2006 12:47:47 AM PDT by absalom01 (The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.)
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To: goldstategop

I think everyone should bring bottles of alcohol to taxi stands.

Then again, I see no difference between this and pharmacists who refuse to give out RU-486, or such things.


9 posted on 10/17/2006 12:50:24 AM PDT by MonroeDNA
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To: goldstategop; DB; Kozak; boop; MonroeDNA
One reason that Dennis Prager is such an effective writer is that he is a clear thinker. So, by simple illustration, someone with a New Testament heritage might say, with a parable from everyday life, Prager conveys deeper meanings in digestable doses.

So the parable of the taxi driver teaches us that Islam has yet to taste of the Scottish Enlightenment. No Enlightenment means no tolerance, no notion that tolerance is essential to civilization.

What are we to do with this insight? If you are a rabid Muslim hater (there are such people after all) you are inclined to say, "see, I told you so, there is no dealing with these people, negotiation means appeasement and appeasement means only defeat, Islam must be defeated which means that Islam must be annihilated." If you are a liberal, you react in horror to such a stance, you call it the equivalent of racism, and proclaim that the root causes of Muslim intolerance must be dealt with. If you are a conservative, you reject the first as morally wrong and physically impossible (there are after all 1.4 billion Muslims in the world), and the second as impractical (we are in a war in which crazed Islamo- fundamentalists would cheerfully blow up or cities and murder us by the millions and there is not that much time or money or even patience in the enlightened world to get the job done).

So what is the conservative solution? The problem is that the world of Islam is so intolerant that it is dangerous and mortally dangerous at that to our civilization, our democracy, and our children's very lives. But the Muslim does not see himself as unenlightened. He is sure he is possessed of all of the Enlightenment there is to have and it is divine enlightenment. He denies that he is intolerant and insists that he is righteous. There is no scientific method, no idea of the marketplace of ideas, no receptivity. Just as the medicine of oncology cannot kill the cancerous cell if it cannot gain entry, so the intolerant Muslim cannot hear if he will not listen.

The honest truth is that there is no conservative solution to this dilemma. If the problem were an incorrigible criminal, conservatives would know what to do: lock him up, quarantine him. But we are dealing with a fifth of the planet here. There is an entity which showed itself quite capable of dealing with huge portions of the world's population who were ignorant, violent, and in many cases, Muslim and that entity was the British Empire operating in all the glory of its enlightened imperialist age. How did the thin red line manage the uncivilized world so successfully for so long until the royal Navy passed the baton to the American Navy?

Well, they did not do it the French way, the Brits did not go native. For the most part, they maintained their standards, they provided an efficient bureaucracy, a rule of law, and an essentially honest administration. In short, they operated within the lights of their own enlightenment. The caricature of the British colonialist of the Victorian age is of an Englishman so insular and so arrogant that he was incapable of understanding or adapting to local conditions and cultures even to the extent that he would go out into the midday sun. This is wholly unfair and a misreading of history. In fact the Brits were quite observant and really good listeners. Clive did not conquer India with only 800 men by overwhelming millions, he achieved this stupendous victory by setting his enemies against each other. He read each faction carefully and manipulated them.

I have posted time and again on these threads my belief that ultimately this intergenerational, world war against 1.4 billion Muslims for the very survival of our civilization and our democracy and our children's lives must be lost if it is not won by Muslims themselves. We must become as wily as the British and mobilize what is sane in the Muslim world to save us because they must save themselves.

But in the long haul it is only Muslims who have the keys to their brothers. If the medicine is to kill the cancerous cells in the body Islam, the medicine must somehow find the portal into the cell. We cannot enlighten our taxi driver by exhorting him to be enlightened. He is deaf and blind to these Western ideas. He does not feel himself any bit enlightened but rather threatened. He is, however, likely to be receptive to ideas which are couched in the language and the idiom of Islam. Like Clive, we had better learn the idiom.


10 posted on 10/17/2006 2:10:43 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("I like to legislate. I feel I've done a lot of good." Sen. Robert Byrd)
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To: goldstategop
"decent" "every day Muslims"

Oxymoron..
11 posted on 10/17/2006 2:24:45 AM PDT by Cronos ("Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant" - Omar Ahmed, CAIR)
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To: nathanbedford
If the medicine is to kill the cancerous cells in the body Islam

There are no cancerous cells in the body Islam -- if one reads the Koran, one realises that these are the live cells, the cancer would be the non-existent "moderate" Muslims, but Islam expells them out, the ones we call "moderates" are really sleeper cells. The ones who don't agree with the principles of Mohammed to kill infidels are athiests or leave the religion (very, very difficult to do the latter as Islam says converts should be killed)
12 posted on 10/17/2006 2:29:03 AM PDT by Cronos ("Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant" - Omar Ahmed, CAIR)
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To: nathanbedford
I have posted time and again on these threads my belief that ultimately this intergenerational, world war

The war has been going on since the 7th century -- since Mohammed and co forcibly converted the Christian lands of Syria and Egypt and into Iraq.
13 posted on 10/17/2006 2:30:05 AM PDT by Cronos ("Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant" - Omar Ahmed, CAIR)
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To: DB
Who owns the taxi?

The question is more fundamental than that. In most places taxis operate under a license, and the number of licenses is limited. The pious fiction is that this insures safety, the reality is that is lessens competition and increases prices, presumably benefitting the drivers.

I really liked the proposal to color-code the "taxi" signs on the cars. While this might not help the blind man with a dog, it would theoretically allow people with alcohol to avoid muslim-driven cabs.

It would have the marvelous benefit of allowing any American at all to completely boycot muslim-driven cabs. Something I feel would be completely justified.

The current situation is unsustainable, but I wonder what happened to the enforcement mechanism we already have. The simple way to deal with the issue is to re-notify the cab drivers that they are common carriers and must take all passengers. The send out a few inspectors with dogs and bottles of wine. A hefty fine for the first infraction, say $5000, and complete loss of cab driving license for the second one would bring these guys into compliance in short order. I would even propose changing the taxi laws to provide jail time for refusing to take a guide dog.

If we do not take every opportunity to demonstrate to muslims that they must comply with the laws of the US, rather than forcing the US to comply with their laws we will lose the war with islam.

14 posted on 10/17/2006 2:31:31 AM PDT by CurlyDave
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To: goldstategop

Next thing you know they won't let in women that do not wear a burkha. They must not be allowed to get away with this!


15 posted on 10/17/2006 2:44:05 AM PDT by Witch-king of Angmar
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To: goldstategop
...We are not talking here about Muslim fanatics or Muslim terrorists, but about decent every day Muslims.

No such 'animal' exists.

16 posted on 10/17/2006 2:46:32 AM PDT by MaDeuce (Do it to them, before they do it to you! (MaDuce = M2HB .50 BMG))
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To: Cronos
So do I put you in the camp of the "rabid Muslim hater"?

You have 1.4 billion Muslims to wage war against. When does the bombing start? I assume you will want to go nuke right away to kill all of them if you can because even a few in our midst can cause us terrible damage.


17 posted on 10/17/2006 2:48:48 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("I like to legislate. I feel I've done a lot of good." Sen. Robert Byrd)
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To: goldstategop

Today's taxi drivers may well be tomorrow's suicide murderers. The taxi drivers may talk and smile during the day, while plotting to kill us all at night.


18 posted on 10/17/2006 2:56:06 AM PDT by tkathy (The Real Republican (RR) way is sticking to the issues and not finger pointing.)
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To: nathanbedford

Let me guess, your english?


19 posted on 10/17/2006 2:57:56 AM PDT by exnavy (God bless America)
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To: exnavy
Nope, 'Merican since 1726.

But Anglophile.


20 posted on 10/17/2006 3:01:26 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("I like to legislate. I feel I've done a lot of good." Sen. Robert Byrd)
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