NYC Taxi Driver Stabbed by Passenger in Anti-Muslim Hate Crime

This morning, local station NY1 reported that a NYC taxi driver is in the hospital following a stabbing by a passenger that occurred after the passenger asked the driver if he was Muslim.

Taxi The New York Taxi Workers Alliance released a statement from the cab driver along with a description of the incident:

Ahmed H. Sharif, 43, a yellow taxi cab driver slashed across the neck, face and shoulders by a passenger during an anti-Muslim hate crime will stand with fellow New York Taxi Workers Alliance members, and community, immigrant and Muslim organizations to call for an end to the bigotry and anti-Islamic rhetoric in the debate around the Park 51 Islamic Cultural Center, referred to as the Ground Zero Mosque. "I feel very sad. I have been here more than 25 years. I have been driving a taxi more than 15 years. All my four kids were born here. I never feel this hopeless and insecure before," said Mr. Sharif. "Right now, the public sentiment is very serious (because of the Ground Zero Mosque debate.) All drivers should be more careful."

On Tuesday, August 24th, 2010 Mr. Sharif picked up the perpetrator at 24th Street and Second Avenue, his first fare for the shift, and headed toward Times Square. The man, 21, started out friendly, asking Mr. Sharif about where he was from, how long he had been in America, if he was Muslim and if he was observing fast during Ramadan. He then first became silent for a few minutes and then suddenly started cursing and screaming. There, at about 6:15pm at Third Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets, he yelled, "Assalamu Alaikum. Consider this a checkpoint," and then slashed Mr. Sharif across the neck. As Mr. Sharif went to knock the knife out, the perpetrator, continuing to scream loudly, cut the taxi driver in the face (from nose to upper lip), arm and hand.

Very sad indeed.

UPDATE: Background on the attacker.


  1. Hunter says

    Senseless violence. It’s a sadly predictable consequence of the continuous effort by the far right wing in this country to gin up outrage at “enemies”.

  2. Ted B. says

    While I have sympathy for Mr. Sharif….how do you slash a NYC cabbie?? Did the attacker slash him through an open drivers-side window after getting out? All the New York City cabs I’ve been in have those bullet-proof barriers between the front seat and the rear seat? And before they had the bullet-proof glass, they had the steel mesh with a tiny slot for the fare.

  3. JT says

    I must admit, its not speaking very well for New York that this anti muslim frenzy is taking a violent turn. NY is supposed to be the representation of our nation’s diversity. Very sad. Get it together Big Apple.

  4. says

    What a sad episode. This whole debate has been insensitive of the people that are caught in it. The Mosque people lacked common sense and sensitivity. The Right over reacted to the whole thing by inciting division, fear and hate like they always do.

  5. TANK says

    This is unacceptable and disgusting, and it literally happens to lgbt’ers every day. And it was engendered by radical rightwing voices…but radical leftwing voices who tolerate intolerance are also responsible for it, too.

  6. Tone says

    Charge the perp with a hate crime, for that’s what it is. And charge Palin et al for their roles in fomenting such hatred in America. All the more sad is that it happened in the shadow of Lady Liberty.

  7. Disgusted Gay American says

    Personally Id be Happy IF ALL religions were wiped off the earth…..but this whole NYC Muslim Community Ctr thing is getting way out of control…what an embarrassment to America this is…the crazy hate filled ,bigoted Right wingers…who convienently forget about Freedom of Religion – when its not Christianity…pathetic!

  8. Steve says

    Proving that the crazy people are the right-wing nuts in the U.S., not our Muslim citizens…..Sarah Palin, please note.

  9. TANK says

    And yeah, it’s getting way out of hand…and either way it ends, we all lose. And that’s rather the point.

  10. Fenrox says

    Hey, fuck you commenter “Male gender symbol” Don’t even try to suggest that this whole controversy has more than one side. People who want to open a fucking mosque can do so anywhere land is sold. Insensitivity my ass, this whole thing is such a fucking joke.

  11. Dave says

    Why the hell a NY zoning issue is a national debate is beyond me; Oh wait the GOP has no shame.

  12. Joel says

    Sad that going on ten years after 9/11 that some people still think because you’re Muslim you’re also a terrorist and/or anti-American. Watching the hatred unfold on TV, including spotting a NYC Firefighter saying “it’s not right” in regards to the Mosque, I feel like we’ve stepped back into the Dark Ages.

  13. AJD says

    I’m willing to bet the alleged perpetrator isn’t even a New Yorker. Most people I know never converse with cab drivers, let alone about things like where they’re from, how long they’ve been in the U.S., etc.

    He’s probably just some ignorant, provincial small town kid making his first visit to a city with a population greater than 5,000.

  14. KFLO says

    Great to know that the mindless followers of Glenn Beck, Palin, Newt, etc are all following the commands to “take back America” – – how disgustingly disturbing.

  15. KFLO says

    I think it’s also interesting that while we (gays) are largely rejected by most devout Muslims, we know it is wrong for them to be targeted and attacked. Says something about our community – very positive in my opinion.

  16. G IN CT says

    Yet more frightening consequences of GOP hypocrisy … first and foremost, ignoring the local zoning laws transparently and legitimately deliberated in New York City which, contrary to General Palin’s contention, is indeed part of the United States of America. Not long after 9/11, right wing hysteria brought the Patriot Act while ignoring the fact that New York impressively healed itself WITHOUT any violence directed toward Muslim, Arab, or South Asian communities that are indistinguishable to many people outside NYC (i.e., the Sikh gas station owner in Texas who was shot for being a “terrorist”). To insult New Yorkers for their multicultural pride even further, in 2004 the GOP took over Manhattan with their convention and cried bloody hell about 9/11 with their inked fingertips telling us that NYC’s overwhelming disdain with the Iraq war as pretense for advancing the right wing cause of “freedom” was unamerican. And now this right wing anti-Muslim vitriol (during Ramadan, no less), which has included calling the Park51 community center with prayer space a “9/11 victory mosque”, is so out of control that a Muslim cabbie has been made to suffer so barbarically in the middle of Manhattan. I never thought I would admire Mayor Bloomberg after the protest-arrest-binge that occurred during the Repug Convenion in ’04, but he seems to be the only elected official in the country who is standing by not only his own convictions, but the constitutional freedoms of religion, association, and expression that this community center represents for New York and the country. Why haven’t these wingnuts been screaming about the fact that nearly 9 years later the memorial at Ground Zero has not begun? Or that the area surrounding Ground Zero has been underdeveloped/rehabilitated after all this time? Do they care about New York? No. It’s metaphor for their contempt of what New York is famous for, and that is cultural and religious liberty and coexistence, without apology. I am confident that New York will vindicate itself, but when that happens, the right wing will have already rebooted for their election campaigns and moved on to their next target(s).

  17. nyrkr says

    That an attack like this can happen in my city, 2 blocks from my apartment and 3 blocks from the United Nations is truly appalling. Ms. Palin, Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Limbaugh and the other bigots and racists in the republican party that have so stirred up this non-issue are just as guilty as the knife weilding Mr. Enright.
    I eagerly await Ms. Palin’s twitter on this but we all know she doesn’t have the cojones to address it.

  18. JTtheOriginal says

    The attacker, Enright, has also been heavily involved in overseas peace organizations, and done work in Afghanistan. Maybe he just went nuts. Might also be gay and appalled at Muslim homophobia, but chose to lash out in a very wrong way for all we know.

  19. JTtheOriginal says

    And I love the highbrow moral tone this site takes with that “very sad indeed” after Towle makes up stories about Michael Phelps running over people, makes jokes on the most bloodcurdling animal abuse, and allows posts calling for peoples’ genitals to be shashed. But….that’s the gay for ya.

  20. Dave says

    JTTHEORIGINAL, I don’t know what stories or posts your reading on your computer or where the hell you came from but kindly go back. And when you get there get some therapy it will do you and our society a world of good.