A religious advocacy group has asked to meet with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson in order to change a new directive at Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport that bans Muslim cab drivers who leave their vehicles to pray.
The Cleveland-based chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations said earlier this month that Standard Parking Co., a group contracted by the city to handle parking operations, enacted a new policy that prohibits cab drivers from leaving their vehicles while they wait in line to pick up arrivals at the airport.
The policy also bans prayer in the taxi queue and prohibits other cab drivers from advancing vehicles in the taxi line for the praying driver.
If seen praying, they will be in violation of the policy and could be banned from picking up fares.
A group of about 60 cab drivers, who are of Somali descent and Muslim, oppose this because they said it limits their potential revenue and also prevents them from making Salaat, a five time-a-day prayer that Muslims must make at specific times.
The advocacy group said it will submit a letter to Jackson signed by several mosque leaders and community activists who support them, said CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia Shearson.
"We are not asking for them to give us special treatment . . . we are asking under the Constitution, and under the law, to give us reasonable accommodations so our religious needs can be met," she said. (More)