A Somalian-born Muslim cab driver, who also happens to be a U.S. Army Reserve veteran of the Iraq War, says that one of his recent customers, a man furious over the Boston Marathon bombings, broke his jaw during a disagreement in Northern Virginia.
The Washington Post has the scoop on what driver Mohamed A. Salim said happened to him early Friday morning. They also have a video Salim captured with his cell phone that shows the argument that apparently led to his assault by Ed Dahlberg of Clifton, Virginia, who has since been charged with a misdemeanor.
Salim told the Post that he picked Dahlberg up outside of a Fairfax country club around 2 a.m. He tried to get into the cab with a beer, but Salim told him to finish it outside.
Dahlberg asked Salim where he was from and whether or not he was a Muslim, and then asked him what he thought about "jihad." Salim had a sense that the conversation could go south, so he began recording it with his phone.
From their story:
On the video, a middle-aged businessman can be heard asking Salim if he is Islamic and then asserting that most Muslims are terrorists. He says the Koran directs Muslims to kill nonbelievers and then repeatedly and loudly demands that Salim denounce the Sept. 11, 2001, attackers. When Salim asks if the passenger is threatening him, the passenger uses an obscene phrase to respond in the affirmative.
“If you’re a Muslim, you’re a [expletive] jihadist,” the passenger says. “You are just as bad as the rest of them.”
The two men begin to argue, and that's when Salim says Dahlberg started to punch him. Salim said that after he stopped recording to call police, Dahlberg broke his jaw and referenced the Boston bombing as the reason he was so angry.
Salim says he has also lost partial vision and hearing since the attack. He is a married father of four who worked in military intelligence and as a linguist, the Post reported.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations is asking Virginia prosecutors to treat this as a hate crime.
Whether he's guilty of assault or not is up to a jury to decide, but the video makes it clear that the guy is a bigoted asshole. There's no excuse for treating someone else this way.
Photo credit Shutterstock