We wrote here and here about the controversy caused by the refusal of Islamic taxi drivers at the Minneapolis airport to transport passengers who are carrying alcohol. There has been some mystery about why this “issue” has suddenly arisen, especially since there is little or no record of such squeamishness being mandated by Islamic teaching.
Our friend Kathy Kersten has been investigating, and seems to have gotten to the bottom of the story:
Behind the scenes, a struggle for power and religious authority is apparently playing out.
At the Starbucks coffee shop in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, a favorite Somali gathering spot, holidaymakers celebrating Eid, the end of Ramadan, filled the tables on Monday. Several taxis were parked outside.
An animated circle of Somalis gathered when the question of the airport controversy was raised.
“I was surprised and shocked when I heard it was an issue at the airport,” said Faysal Omar. “Back in Somalia, there was never any problem with taking alcohol in a taxi.”
Jama Dirie said, “If a driver doesn’t pick up everyone, he should get his license canceled and get kicked out of the airport.”
Yet it is indisputably true that a number of Somali drivers have objected to transporting alcohol. This seems to be the explanation:
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.
To make a long story short, the Muslim American Society is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had a seminal influence on al Qaeda. The airport controversy appears to be a power play by Islamic radicals in the MAS:
Omar Jamal, director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, thinks he knows why the society is promoting a “no-alcohol-carry” agenda with no basis in Somali culture. “MAS is an Arab group; we Somalis are African, not Arabs,” he said. “MAS wants to polarize the world, create two camps. I think they are trying to hijack the Somali community for their Middle East agenda.”
So far, it seems to be working. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights recommended an organization to the Metropolitan Airports Commission to mediate the “dispute.” What organization did the Department of Human Rights recommend? None other than the Muslim American Society.
So Minnesota’s Somali cab drivers have become pawns in radical Islam’s effort to force an opening for Sharia in the United States:
Hassan Mohamud is vice president of the society’s Minnesota chapter.***He emphasizes…that Muslims must follow shari’a, or Islamic law, in every aspect of their lives. “There are two conflicting systems here — two ways of life — that want to live in the same place and respect each other,” he says. The society aims to facilitate conciliation between the two.
Mohamud adds that Americans need to learn about Islamic law because the Muslim population here is growing. That’s why the proposed two-tier system for airport cabdrivers is important, he says. It could become a national model for accommodating Islam in areas ranging from housing to contractual arrangements to the workplace.