Cabbie turned away Muslim disabled customer

A sister posted this to the New Muslim Project email forum. It is about how she and her husband was refused a cab to take them from a recent conference in London to the station so they could take a train back to Leicestershire. Note that this may well have been because of the couple’s obviously Islamic appearance (he has a beard and his wife wears hijab); it may, however, also be because the cabbie could not be bothered to pull the ramp down so that the brother could get into the cab, as is his legal obligation.

Asalaam Alaykum brothers & sisters,

I was wondering if anybody out there has trouble getting taxis? what i mean is, my husband yusuf and i, was at the excel peace and unity conference on sunday, it was going lovely,we ordered a taxi,waited outside,the taxi came and as soon as he saw my husband and i he sped off. There’s my husband whos wheelchair bound,both desperatly trying to get back home to get the train back to the leicester area.

The staff at Excel, did there upmost best to get us to the train station, but no taxis wanted to take us, which left us thinking was it because we’re muslim? or was it because of my husband being in a wheelchair?,its happened quite a few times in london and also in birmingham.

We ended up having to spend the night in a hotel. My husband had to spend the night in his wheelchair as there were no hoists to get him into bed,also he had to do without his breathing machine, which keeps his lungs clear from getting infections,he’s now suffering with a chest infection because of this ordeal.

I would be interested to know if anybody else has had any similiar experiences with taxis up and down the country, either as an able bodied person or Disabled?

I should add that if anyone has this problem with taxi drivers, particularly black London cabs (or their local equivalents), they should take their registration or cab licence numbers and report them to the licensing authority. This is a known problem: last December Yvonne Ridley wrote in the Observer that a number of cab drivers either would not stop or would not let her board, giving the impression that they objected to her religious dress, and when she wrote of this she received a hostile response from letter-writers. Also, the Observer a few years ago printed an article about cab drivers refusing to stop for their reporter in a wheelchair (with the drivers’ numbers). What these drivers are doing is illegal and action has to be taken to stop it.

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