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Muslim Taxi Driver stabbed.
It has started.
Rider Asks if Cabby Is Muslim, Then Stabs Him
By N. R. KLEINFIELD
Published: August 25, 2010
It was the first fare of the cabdriver’s shift. A young man hailed him at the corner of Second Avenue and East 24th Street, wanting to go to 42nd and Second. It was 6 p.m. on Tuesday; the traffic was dense.
Ahmed H. Sharif, a taxi driver, was stabbed by a passenger on Tuesday. He said his attacker asked him if he was Muslim.
Once the fare, Michael Enright, a 21-year-old film student who had been recently trailing Marines in Afghanistan, settled in the back, he started asking friendly enough questions: Where was the driver from? Was he Muslim?
The driver, Ahmed H. Sharif, 44, said he was from Bangladesh, and yes he was Muslim.
Mr. Enright said, “Salaam aleikum,” the Arabic greeting “Peace be upon you.”
“How’s your Ramadan going?” Mr. Enright asked, Mr. Sharif said.
He told him it was going fine. Then, he said, Mr. Enright began making fun of the rituals of Ramadan, and Mr. Sharif sensed this cab ride might not be like any other.
“So I stopped talking to him,” Mr. Sharif said. “He stopped talking, too.”
As the cab inched up Third Avenue and reached 39th Street, Mr. Sharif said in a phone interview, Mr. Enright suddenly began cursing at him and shouting “This is the checkpoint” and “I have to bring you down.” He said he told him he had to bring the king of Saudi Arabia to the checkpoint.
“He was talking like he was a soldier,” Mr. Sharif said.
He withdrew a Leatherman knife, Mr. Sharif said, and, reaching through the opening in the plastic divider, slashed Mr. Sharif’s throat. When Mr. Sharif turned, he said, Mr. Enright stabbed him in his face, on his arm and on his thumbs.
Mr. Sharif said he told him: “I beg of you, don’t 🤬 me. I worked so hard, I have a family.”
He said Mr. Enright bolted out of the slowly moving cab. Mr. Sharif then found a police officer who apprehended Mr. Enright. The officer told him, Mr. Sharif said, that Mr. Enright said he had tried to rob him.
Mr. Sharif received more than two dozen stitches at Bellevue Hospital Center and was released. Mr. Enright was given a psychiatric evaluation there.
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