Bloomberg Meets With Muslim Cab Driver Stabbed in Hate Crime Attack
NEW YORK (WPIX) — The Muslim taxi cab driver brutally attacked this week by a college student met with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall Thursday. Both men called for tolerance and for calm over the debate that has reached feverish pitch over the proposed mosque and Islamic center by the former World Trade Center site.
“Of course it was for my religion,” said Ahmed Sharif, the cabbie who was slashed several times when asked if there was any doubt he was attacked because he is Muslim.
Michael Enright, a 21 year-old Brewster, New York resident and a senior at the School of Visual Arts, is being held without bail. Enright recently volunteered to work on a documentary following soldiers serving in Afghanistan, and as a passenger in Sharif’s cab allegedly went on a slashing spree after learning the cabbie is Muslim.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says Enright was drunk at the time of his arrest and made a bizarre statement to police when he was taken into custody saying, “you’re violating my rights, I’m jewish.”
“This city must be safe for everyone,” said Sharif on the steps of City Hall, the father of 4 took the tone as a pitch man for tolerance.
Those around him are convinced his attack was fueled by the heated rhetoric over the Park51 proposal to build an Islamic Center and Mosque on Park Place, 2 blocks away from the former World Trade Center site.