Muslim cabdriver alleges assault by passenger who cited Boston Marathon bombing

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An Army reservist and Iraq veteran who works as a cabdriver says a passenger he picked up early Friday at a Northern Virginia country club accused him of being a terrorist because he is Muslim, then fractured his jaw in an attack being described by Islamic activists as a hate crime.


Mohamed A. Salim says the passenger compared him to the men accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing 11 days earlier and threatened to kill him.

“Because I’m a Muslim, he treated me like a piece of trash,” Salim said. “I love this country. I didn’t deserve this.”

Ed Dahlberg of Clifton, who has been charged with misdemeanor assault, denied hitting Salim in a statement released by his attorney.

Muslim rights workers said Salim’s account is supported by medical records and an 11-minute, obscenity-filled video of Dahlberg’s remarks leading up to the alleged assault. Salim, a 39-year-old from Great Falls, provided The Washington Post with a copy, which his attorney described as evidence of the prejudice that others sometimes face but rarely document.

Written By: Joe Stephens and Justin Jouvenal
continue to source article at washingtonpost.com

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  1. Dreadful.

    It reminds me of the time Carol Blue left her purse in the cab of a Muslim driver who returned it of his own volition and turned down the offer from Christopher Hitchens of a reward, saying that he was simply being a good Muslim.

  2. So a bunch of lads kill innocents in the name of some bullshit religion and people are somehow horrified there is a backlash of any kind? deal with it.its harsh but at the end of the day what is actually expected here? innocent non muslims to shake their heads and say “oh thats terrible but lets carry on as if nothing has happened” its not going to happen. If a group commits an atrocity, the members of that group need to expect a comeback.

    I cant get the video to load but according to the article, he was asked if he was muslim. Surely in light of current event he shouldve said “No” The same way I cant let people know I am a soldier in my own country for fear of being targeted by muslim groups, this guy shouldve thought about whats happened recently and thought, maybe now isnt a good time to be broadcasting my faith given current opinion.

    • In reply to #4 by AtheistSquaddie:

      So a bunch of lads kill innocents in the name of some bullshit religion and people are somehow horrified there is a backlash of any kind? deal with it.its harsh but at the end of the day what is actually expected here? innocent non muslims to shake their heads and say “oh thats terrible but lets car…

      First of all a group did not do this, two men did. I have lots of problems with what Muslims believe as matters of faith but beating random people because of the actions of two men is a horrific response. And the fact the man’s name is Mohamed might have been a clue as to his religion

  3. If you attack two countries unprovoked and kill hundreds of thousands of their kids, it is silly to imagine there will be no reprisals. Americans seem to think they did absolutely nothing to provoke the attack. The terrorist response has nothing to do with Islam. They had had no intention of going to heaven.

    • In reply to #5 by Roedy:

      If you attack two countries unprovoked and kill hundreds of thousands of their kids, it is silly to imagine there will be no reprisals.[...] The terrorist response has nothing to do with Islam.

      We are not at war with Chechnya, but rather other Muslim countries. If this is in response to US wars (as you say) that means it is all about Islam.

      Did you make a logical error or is there something I’m missing from your point? I am totally open to interpretation on this event and its causes.

  4. This man was just trying to earn a living and gets assaulted because he happens to be Muslim. Any of you who seem to think he had it coming are on about the same moral plane as the terrorist themselves. Showing compassion and decency towards someone shouldn’t be contingent upon their beliefs. I am getting very disturbed by some of the tribalism emerging on this site lately.

    [Edited by moderator to bring within Terms of Use]

    • In reply to #8 by Brian The Coyote:

      This man was just trying to earn a living and gets assaulted because he happens to be Muslim. Any of you sick fucks who seems to think he had it coming are on about the same moral plane as the terrorist themselves. Showing compassion and decency towards someone shouldn’t be contingent upon their bel…

      Mr. Dahlberg’s violence is inexcusable, deplorable and subject to prosecution to the full extent of the law. Even if it was possibly triggered by Mr. Salim’s announcement that he was recording the conversation (an activity of dubious propriety if not legality) immediately subsequent to which the physical violence alleged to be perpetrated by Dahlberg began.

      Everything else remaining equal would you be just as exercised had Mr. Salim been the victim of, say, assault and battery by a drug addict seeking to finance his next fix? If less so, that would require an explanation.

      One might also inquire whether Dahlberg’s rage might not have escalated to such a degree had Salim not punted on condemning the 911 attacks and had admitted to and disapproved of the fact that the Koran does indeed urge killing people for a whole assortment of unacceptable reasons. That would have showed not only compassion and decency but also honesty on the part of Salim. A degree of honesty one never gets to hear from Muslims on the topic of Islam that might even have stunned Dahlberg into ceasing and desisting.

    • In reply to #8 by Brian The Coyote:

      This man was just trying to earn a living and gets assaulted because he happens to be Muslim. Any of you who seem to think he had it coming are on about the same moral plane as the terrorist themselves. Showing compassion and decency towards someone shouldn’t be contingent upon their beliefs. I am g…

      yes, but a good question to ask is how on earth it emerged that the driver was muslim. i mean, does one jump in the cab and ask? or is it announced? or what? i’m sure i have never known, or thought about, the religion of any taxi driver that I’ve had.

    • In reply to #11 by Katy Cordeth:

      Get yourself a good lawyer, Mohamed, and take this racist scumbag to the cleaners.

      In order of appearance:

      1. Evidence that you have yet again failed to read or understand what you’re commenting on – as the article mentions, Mohammed is already lawyered up. Furthermore, he’s supported by the Saudi financed Council on American–Islamic Relations Sam Harris deems “an Islamist public relations firm posing as a civil-rights lobby”.

      2. Libel. unless you can point to Dahlberg’s remarks which even suggest a reference to race.

      3. Ad hominem.

  5. Brian – Two lads did it. Im pretty sure if you asked them to use one word to describe themselves, they wouldve said “Muslim” Thats where they become grouped. Whether you agree or not, thats how humans work.
    Horrific?!?!?! You think a man getting into a scuffle is horrific? So what do you think about the fact that people died in Boston because of these bombings. People died and then a man gets into a fight and you think that bit is horrific? Hardly.
    Read the article in the Washington Post, it says he was asked if he was Muslim. If I go for a night out in Birmingham and a bunch of asian lads ask me if I am a soldier, I dont say yes because it could get me in serious trouble. He couldve simply lied to his infidel passenger, im sure that theres a rule saying you are allowed to decieve the enemy.

  6. In reply to #14 by godsbuster:

    Mr. Dahlberg’s violence is inexcusable, deplorable and subject to prosecution to the full extent of the law. Even if it was possibly triggered by Mr. Salim’s announcement that he was recording the conversation (an activity of dubious propriety if not legality) immediately subsequent to which the physical violence alleged to be perpetrated by Dahlberg began.

    I don’t understand. Are you suggesting that Dahlberg initiated this attack because he was camera shy? The article doesn’t mention anything about his being part Aborigine. Security equipment in workplaces is commonplace these days; most of us are used to it.

    Everything else remaining equal would you be just as exercised had Mr. Salim been the victim of, say, assault and battery by a drug addict seeking to finance his next fix? If less so, that would require an explanation.

    Why? Whether you approve of them or not, there are such things as hate-crime laws. Do you think, godsbuster, that an assault for financial gain is equivalent to an attack based on skin colour or religion?

    One might also inquire whether Dahlberg’s rage might not have escalated to such a degree had Salim not punted on condemning the 911 attacks and had admitted to and disapproved of the fact that the Koran does indeed urge killing people for a whole assortment of unacceptable reasons…

    Yes, it’s incumbent on every Muslim going about his daily business to, when ordered to condemn the 9/11 attacks, disassociate himself from the events of that day. Any Muslim who doesn’t immediately denounce the destruction of the Twin Towers when some drunken asshole demands he do so is fair game and should expect whatever beating is coming to him.

    …That would have showed not only compassion and decency but also honesty on the part of Salim. A degree of honesty one never gets to hear from Muslims on the topic of Islam that might even have stunned Dahlberg into ceasing and desisting.

    It was Mohamed Salim’s innate dishonesty which led to his being assaulted, then. A drunk with a chip on his shoulder can always be startled into inaction by a simple display of candor.

    • In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

      In reply to #14 by godsbuster:

      Mr. Dahlberg's violence is inexcusable, deplorable and subject to prosecution to the full extent of the law. 
      

      I don’t understand.

      I agree. Let me refer you to stuhillman’s comment #17. It’s the concise version of the main point I wanted to make anyway, and much easier to understand. I’d also like to correct the above to “Mr. Dahlberg’s alleged violence…”

      • In reply to #21 by godsbuster:

        In reply to #15 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #14 by godsbuster:

        Mr. Dahlberg’s violence is inexcusable, deplorable and subject to prosecution to the full extent of the law.

        I don’t understand.

        I agree. Let me refer you to stuhillman’s comment #17. It’s the concise version of the main point I wanted to make anyway, and much easier to understand. I’d also like to correct the above to “Mr. Dahlberg’s alleged violence…”

        We seem to be at cross purposes again, godsbuster, you and I. When I said I didn’t understand, I was referring to your apparent assertion that the attack on Muhamed Salim may have occurred because he began to record what was happening in his taxicab. You seemed to be saying that what happened could have been Mr Salim’s own fault:

        …Even if it was possibly triggered by Mr. Salim’s announcement that he was recording the conversation (an activity of dubious propriety if not legality) immediately subsequent to which the physical violence alleged to be perpetrated by Dahlberg began.

        This was, and still is, the cause of my confusion. Isn’t it a bit like blaming a rape victim because she took out her phone and tried to call the cops when she was being threatened, and saying this is what caused her to be attacked?


        P.S. I will admit that I also don’t know why most of your comment is in bold. I may have difficulty understanding stuff, but it doesn’t affect my eyesight!

  7. “The prosecutor has a clear opportunity to send a message that anti-Muslim crime will not be tolerated, ” said Gadeir Abbas, an attorney for CAIR.

    How about “crime will not be tolerated.”

  8. AtheistSquaddie said
    ” he was asked if he was muslim. Surely in light of current event he shouldve said “No” “

    What rubbish. Why should he deny who/what he is? I’m an atheist & I’ll quite happily tell anyone who asks, why should a muslim have to be any different?

  9. jel – the same reason that as a British soldier you cant wear your uniform off camp in Northern Ireland, a part of Great Britain. Because you’d be an idiot to do so and you make yourself a target for any possible IRA surveillance and subsequent killing, car bombing or seeing those you love killed. Same in Birmingham, Bradford, Preston etc. You dont advertise you are a British soldier even in your own country. People may be somehow angered and may do something rash. It is the same in this case. Yes he has the right to say he is a Muslim, but why be so open when Muslim terrorists in the name of Islam have killed innocent Americans? Its common sense is it not?

  10. People seem to be drawing a lot of conclusions here. From what I can tell, unless this is a part of a trend, it’s not really newsworthy. I imagine fights happen fairly often in the US, for a variety of reasons. One of them being because one person was muslim and the other didn’t like muslims isn’t that odd. Now if you someone could show that muslims are statistically much more likely to be subject to random violence, that would be interesting and at least newsworthy, but as far as I can see, this article does not suggest that.

  11. In reply to #23 by Net:

    In reply to #8 by Brian The Coyote:

    This man was just trying to earn a living and gets assaulted because he happens to be Muslim. Any of you who seem to think he had it coming are on about the same moral plane as the terrorist themselves. Showing compassion and decency towards someone shouldn’t be contingent upon their beliefs. I am g…

    yes, but a good question to ask is how on earth it emerged that the driver was muslim. i mean, does one jump in the cab and ask? or is it announced? or what?

    From the article:

    On the video, a middle-aged businessman can be heard asking Salim if he is Islamic and then asserting that most Muslims are terrorists. @

  12. In reply to #19 by AtheistSquaddie:

    Yes he has the right to say he is a Muslim, but why be so open when Muslim terrorists in the name of Islam have killed innocent Americans? Its common sense is it not?

    Perhaps Muhamed Salim assumed, erroneously it seems, that most Americans would be smart enough to realise that the actions of a few men doesn’t equate to all Muslims being terrorists.

  13. I am alarmed by some of the commentary on this article. As a group of people who face real prejudice, we (atheists) should never have to fear violent attack in the United States for stating what we are. As rational, thoughtful, and compassionate people, I would have assumed that we could agree that a Muslim man should not have fear a beating for stating that he is Muslim, even if we do not agree with his beliefs.

  14. Katy Cordeth – Well then theres a sign of poor integration. Im pretty sure for over a decade now, coming forth and saying your muslim in USA isnt the greatest ideas. A few days after islamic terrorists kill innocents in the name of islam, thats the time you lay low. Dont go out loud and proud. If you do, expect humans to be angry, thats the nature of the society we live in.

    • In reply to #28 by AtheistSquaddie:

      Katy Cordeth – Well then theres a sign of poor integration. Im pretty sure for over a decade now, coming forth and saying your muslim in USA isnt the greatest ideas. A few days after islamic terrorists kill innocents in the name of islam, thats the time you lay low. Dont go out loud and proud. If yo…

      Gawd. That sounds a bit like claiming it was the woman’s fault she was raped because she was dressed in a certain way.

  15. A few years ago, Top Gear did a drive across america. After spray painting “Hilary for President” “Nascar Sucks” “Man Love Rules” on their cars they took a trip through the bible belt. At a stop in a local fuel station a woman took offense at these slogans on the cars. When the top gear drivers didnt leave she threatened them with “the boys” The boys were 4 huge black guys who came round to the fuel station to get tough with the top gear team who made a very hasty exit.

    Drummo its no where near saying the woman got raped because of how she dressed. All i am saying is you have to expect that some people may get angry with your beliefs. In my case, British Muslims get angry with my job. I dont broadcast it to them that I am a solider, because its a stupid thing to do, regardless of how proud I am to serve my country, or how its my right as a soldier of Britain to be recognised as such without fear of anyone attacking me etc etc. In the ideal world he could say, yes im muslim and his passenger would be like, oh thats cool. But this isnt an ideal world. This is a human world, and you need to think a few steps ahead if you want to avoid trouble.

    Please show me where I am going wrong

  16. Ok…

    This Dahlberg guy is obviously an arrogant ass looking for a fight and the way he behaved toward the cab driver is both inexcusable and really dumb. He deserves to have charges of assault brought against him and be prosecuted over it.

    However, I don’t buy the driver’s story of the broken jaw. I’ve seen what a broken jaw looks like. His face would have been swollen and blue and would have been unable to speak without sounding like he has a big potato in his mouth. I think he’s being a bit of an opportunist by playing the “islamaphobia” card. He loses credibility in my eyes by going to that Islam-American relations outfit while all that was really needed was to file a formal complaint to the cops and get a good attorney. ‘Nuff said.

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