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19 Jun, 2013 20:39

Second Muslim cabbie attacked in Virginia

Second Muslim cabbie attacked in Virginia

A civil rights group has accused a Virginia woman of committing a hate crime for calling 911 to report that her taxi driver was “very Muslim”. The woman told officers that she was afraid for her life on the basis of the cabbie’s religion.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights group in the US, is asking prosecutors to file charges against Jennifer Crabbe of Ashburn, Va., for harassing her Muslim cab driver, Alexandria resident Abdikar Aden.

Aden claims that the woman made racist remarks, poked him repeatedly in the back of his shoulder, and threatened to have him deported while in the vehicle on the night of April 23. She allegedly also told him that all Muslims come to the US to work as taxi drivers for a year, in order to save money to blow themselves up. The cab driver eventually pulled over and called 911, and his passenger proceeded to call the police herself.

While on the phone with the dispatcher, the woman shouted obscenities and said she feared for her life. She referred to her driver as “very Muslim”, and used the F-word on more than a dozen occasions. She also used the word “Muslim” 10 times, according to the Associated Press.

“I have some Muslim guy, which I am very scared, who is our taxi driver, who’s pulled over, and I’m afraid,” the woman told the dispatcher. One other passenger was in the taxi, who repeatedly tried to tell Crabbe to calm down, insisting that Aden is “a good guy”.

“This guy’s Muslim. Are you kidding me? Muslim. He’s not a good guy,” the woman responded to her companion, according to the 911 recording.

Once the police arrived, they wrote a report, but filed no charges. The report states that the woman paid the $50 fare she owed the driver and caused him no harm.But even if the driver was unscathed, CAIR attorney Gadeir Abbas believes the incident should be prosecuted as a hate crime. Aden was deeply troubled by the confrontation and has now stopped working nights, afraid that another such encounter could become violent.

“The assault is made even more deplorable because it was based on Mr. Aden’s faith alone,” Abbas wrote in a letter sent to Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond Morrogh, noting that his office “can send the message that bigoted acts of violence have no place in Fairfax County.”

Aden believes Crabbe was likely upset because the meter had accumulated a $17 fare before the woman entered the vehicle. The driver claims he waited 50 minutes for Crabbe and one other passenger to exit The Capital Grille steakhouse in Tysons Corner, from which the woman called the taxi.

Aden is a native of Somalia who has lived in the United States since 1995 and has been a US citizen for more than 10 years. Abbas told AP that anti-Muslim violence is a common occurrence, and that prosecutors should file charges against Crabbe to send a message about racism.

“We have an opportunity now to send a clear message that assault against Muslims will not be tolerated,” Abbas said.

Last month, a similar incident occurred involving a Muslim taxi driver in the Washington, D.C. metro area. CAIR intervened in a case in which a passenger broke the driver’s draw after shouting racist obscenities against the cabbie and his religion.

“I’m the victim, and I need help from the people, and I need help from the government to get justice,” Aden said.