In direct violation of federal law, some Muslim taxi drivers in Minneapolis are refusing to carry passengers with service dogs or guide dogs because of their belief that dogs are “unclean.”
They are also refusing to carry passengers who have alcohol in their luggage. (And no, I don’t know how to tell that.)
Of the 900 taxi drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, many are immigrants from Somali and many of them are Muslim. The airport commission has received a religious edict from the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society. About 100 people are denied taxi service each month for religious reasons.
So far the airport has held firm. A spokesman said, “"Our expectation is that if you're going to be driving a taxi at the airport, you need to provide service to anybody who wants it.” No one is forcing these taxi drivers to take these jobs.
A driver who refuses to carry a passenger with a service or guide dog is in violation of the American with Disabilities Act. He faces a 30 day suspension of the airport license for a first offense and harsher penalties for repeat offenses.
While we want to respect the religious beliefs of others, they are depriving the blind and disabled of their legal right to use their dogs to lead the kind of independent quality of life they are entitled to.
More on the story from MSNBC.