Religion: Minnesota's Teetotal Taxis

The refusal of Muslim cabbies to allow alcohol in their cars may be misguided, but it's not a clash of civilizations

Keri Pickett / WPN

Rasheed Gardaad, 29, a cab driver for the past five years, waits in a line at an airport in Minnesota, where Muslim cab drivers don't want to carry alcohol in their cars.

Even in religion, where the most insignificant act has cosmic implications, there are big stories and little stories. When an image of Mother Teresa turns up on a cruller, the call is easy. But when a disturbance occurs in the fraught, supersaturated relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, elephantiasis may occur. Witness the tale of Minnesota's Muslim cabbies.

Starting in 2000, some of the 600-plus Somali Muslims who make up three-quarters of the fleet serving Minneapolis--St. Paul International Airport stopped picking up passengers who were carrying duty-free liquor boxes or other obvious signs of booze, returning to the end of the cab...

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