New Yorker’s Encounter With A Muslim Cab Driver After Paris Attacks Will Break Your Heart

The attacks in Paris on Friday were heartbreaking. With more than 120 dead and 200 wounded, these acts of terrorism shocked the world — but the impact they are already having on the majority of the Muslim population, people who have no interest in bombs, or guns, or murdering anyone, is also quite disquieting. Friday night, New Yorker Alex Malloy had an absolutely sorrowful encounter with a Muslim cab driver directly following the attacks after he stepped into a waiting taxi — one that inspired him to share his tale and speak out against the hatred espoused by American conservatives and all who share their hateful views.

The first words Malloy heard upon stepping into the cab were “Thank you.” He explained that his driver had not picked up a single passenger in two hours in the wake of the attack on Paris.Malloy said in a post on Twitter:

“The cab ride I just had home was the saddest 25 minutes I’ve experienced from another human being. For 25 mins I had to tell this stranger, this human being like you & I that he was not a part of what was happening & how sorry I was people were looking at him with fear or anger. He cried the whole way to my apartment & it made me cry too.”

As though he felt the weight of some nonexistent, yet ever-present responsibility to justify Muslims as a people, the driver explained to Malloy that those who would do something so horrible as to kill others in the name of religion are not in any way reflective of the will of his god:

“He kept saying, ‘Allah, my God does not believe in this. People think I’m a part of this and I’m not. Nobody wants to drive with me [because] they feel unsafe. I can’t even do my job.’ It was one of the most heart breaking moments I’ve ever experineced in my whole life.”

“He was such a sweet guy, around my age, he couldn’t have been older than 25,” Malloy wrote. “The fact that this young man is feeling victimized [because] of extremists is so sad. Nobody needs to feel this way. I couldn’t and still can’t believe I had to listen to this mans words who just simply wanted to take me home & do his job.

Malloy says he spent the entire ride reassuring the Muslim man that he “as many others in this nation don’t view him” as a terrorist, that “we are happy to have him here & will do anything to protect him.”

“There are however people who do not feel this way and it’s heart breaking,” Malloy says. “A simple man doing his job felt under attack [because] of people who are claiming to be his religion but are not [because] they are extremists.”

“Please, please give your sympathy towards these people,” he urged. “They are not only victims of discrimination but also hate in times like this. Please stop generalizing a society of people” as violent extremists, as “they are not our enemies.”

“These are our friends, neighbors and allies,” the New York man continued. “They want to help fight against this viewpoint. Please stop saying ‘Muslims’ are the problem.” He added that Muslims as a whole are feeling victimized and scared because of the hatred exhibited by hateful bigots who would jump at any chance to openly hate people who do not share their religion. “These are our brothers and sisters as human kind, we are all humans under this skin. And they deserve…our respect and attention. They need our protection.” Malloy summed up his thoughts in a single sentence, one that should be read by anyone who has decided that Muslims as a whole are dangerous:

“Please stop viewing these beautiful humans as enemies [because] they are not.”

Malloy went to bed after posting his tweet, waking up to discover it had gone viral with more than 50,000 people retweeting it within 16 hours.

“The replies were so touching and so sincere,” Malloy told HuffPost. “It wasn’t just the Muslim community replying, but everybody replying. Especially at a time like this, in our country and in our world … to see people come together over something I had written and saying, ‘This is so important’ — it made me cry.”

Unfortunately, many (especially our friends on the Right) feel it necessary to demonize Muslims as a whole following the terrorist attacks. 2016 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, for example, wants to cancel the Iran deal because the actions of ISIS mean that Muslims can’t be trusted — even Iran, whose leadership was quick to condemn the attacks. Jeb Bush wants the United States to stop accepting non-Christian refugees.

The hatred is heartbreaking, that’s for sure — and, unfortunately, our Muslim brothers and sisters will probably have to live with it for quite some time because too many in the world embrace blind rage when there should be solidarity…especially those who would “pray” for the victims while seizing upon the chance to use these tragic attacks to justify exactly the sort of bigotry that is traditionally built upon piles of bodies.

Featured image via Twitter