If I’m driving, you can’t drink

Or wear a yarmulke, or go without a veil, or have an “unclean” seeing-eye dog, or carry a pound of bacon, or possess any depiction of the prophet, or… well you get the idea.

No booze in my cab, infidel

Gregory Peck, in 1947, starred in “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” where he played a reporter who assumed a Jewish identity while covering a story on anti-Semitism. Seventeen years later the passage of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 addressed many forms of discrimination in employment, public accommodations and government services that were so vividly portrayed in this classic film. While the Act created specific protected classes from discrimination, it is safe to say that the spirit of the law, the intent of the Congress, was to curtail discrimination in the populace at large and not to create classes of potential litigants for future plaintiff’s attorneys as has since happened.

Recently, a new class has been asserting its “rights” under the law. To comply with Sharia law, Muslim cab drivers who work the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport are refusing to accommodate paying passengers who may have alcoholic beverages in their possession. In doing so, they are violating the spirit of the 1964 Act by denying a public accommodation. Additionally, taxi services and other commercial enterprises at the airport are regulated by the Metropolitan Airports Commission, a quasi-governmental organization. The approximately 675 Muslim cab drivers petitioned for a two-color beacon to indicate their (un)willingness to transport alcohol, but the commission wisely rejected the idea. We at The Patriot have a simpler solution: Arrest them for violating the law. If they don’t want to risk the eternal wrath of Allah for transporting a business executive with a bottle of champagne, perhaps they can pursue another line of work more suitable to their beliefs.

Ultimately, we’re left to ponder two other questions. First, where is Danny Glover? In November, 1999 he filed suit in New York City after several empty cabs ignored his request for service. Second, where’s the ACLU? If these cab drivers were Korean and refused service to Japanese tourists, would that spark the ACLU’s interest? Whose ox must be gored before the guardians of civil rights leap into action? After all, somewhere in Minneapolis, a businessman with a bottle of 18-year-old Macallan is just trying to get home after a long flight.

Three comments:

1) The idea that you cannot refuse to provide a “public accomodation” would seem to apply to pharmacists and hospitals regarding morning after pills and abortions respectively, issues of which we have also heard and which have free market implications as well as those of conscience.

2) The original solution to this problem obviates point 1 and seemed reasonable to me: If you won’t take the fare go to the back of the queue and wait three hours for another chance. Your own conscience can be exercised, but you pay any consequences determined by the consciences of others practicing their legal rights.

3) This was a “camel’s nose under the tent” (I eschew “thin edge of the wedge” as overly Western) attempt to regularize Sharia law in the United States. Our culture of victimization granted it the undue respect it needed to be seriously considered.

H/T Patriot Post via JR