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Over the last few weeks we've been covering the story of the cabdrivers in Minneapolis — Muslim cabdrivers, predominantly from Somalia — who are trying to institute Islamic law in the way they handle their cab-driving duties.
The local law in Minneapolis requires that drivers who are licensed to pick up fares at the Minneapolis airport pick up anybody who needs a ride and has the money to pay for it. The Muslim cabdrivers are trying to exclude anyone who is carrying a bottle of alcohol or has a dog with them, even if the dog is assisting a blind person, a seeing-eye dog. Dogs and alcohol are forbidden in Muslim law, though quite legal in our law. So the cabdrivers want Islamic law to apply.
Now word out of Minneapolis that in a Target store there Muslim cashiers refuse to scan bacon or pork because they would have to pick up the package and that too is forbidden in Islamic law. This, by the way, is the same place where the six imams created a disturbance and were taken off a flight and are now suing.
We have to decide what we're going to be as a country. Are we going to be a place of two sets of laws — Islamic for newcomers from places such as Somalia, and our law for the rest of us — or are we going to insist that everyone who comes here do so with the understanding that they cannot bring their law with them?
Muslims can refuse to carry alcohol in their cars, but not if they are cabdrivers. They can refuse to handle my package of bacon, but not if they are checkout cashiers.
We respect people's traditions, and we expect ours to be respected in return. This is a country of laws, but not Islamic laws. Other newcomers have had to cope with new rules. Muslims should, too.
That's My Word.
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