CAIR-MN FACILITATES FREE CAB RIDES FOR THE BLIND
(MINNEAPOLIS, MN 3/29/07) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today announced that Muslim employees of the Twin Cities Airport Taxi, Viking Airport Taxi, and Bloomington City Taxi will offer free cab rides to blind individuals (and their guide dogs) attending a one-day semiannual convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota.
The convention will take place on April 21, 2007, in Minneapolis. The Muslim drivers are also willing to provide each convention member with his or her personal driver for the day, free of charge.
CAIR-MN facilitated the offer after inaccurate reports surfaced of cab drivers refusing to serve passengers with guide dogs. “As Muslims, we believe that we must do all we can to assist those who have physical challenges and special needs,” said CAIR-MN Communications Director Valerie Shirley.
Shirley quoted Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, who said: “There are many doors to goodness. . .listening to the deaf (until you understand them), leading the blind, guiding someone to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the weak with the strength of one’s arms – all of these are (forms of) charity prescribed for you.” (Fiqh-us-Sunnah, 3:98)
Muslim taxi drivers claim that they have been misunderstood and misrepresented in the media. “This has never been an issue for us,” said Abdinoor Ahmed Dolal, Owner of Twin Cities Airport Taxi. “Islam forbids us to turn away a blind passenger, whether they have a guide dog or not. Their rights come first.”
CAIR-MN and the Muslim taxi drivers intend to extend this same offer to members attending the American Council of the Blind Convention to be held in Minneapolis in late June of this year.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-MN Communications Director Valerie Shirley, Tel: 763-226-5866, E-Mail: email@example.com