A racist passenger smashed a New York taxi driver in the face with a skateboard after he found out the cabbie was Pakistani.
Mohammad Ali Fahd suffered a fractured nose, facial cuts and swelling so severe he can’t open his left eye, authorities said. Doctors don’t yet know how badly his vision will be affected.
“He was trying to kill me. I hope they catch this guy,” said Fahd, 36, a father of two.
The man got into Fahd’s taxi late Monday night on Second Ave. between Sixth and Seventh Sts. Early in the trip uptown, the passenger asked Fahd his country of origin, then started cursing and banging on the partition when Fahd said he was born in Pakistan.
The outburst distracted Fahd and he hit a pothole. The cab driver then pulled into a gas station at Avenue C and 23rd St. to assess the damage.
“I was doing my safety check to make sure everything was all right with the car when he came up and hit me from behind,” Fahd said.
An ambulance driver who was nearby chased the violent passenger, who escaped on his skateboard.
A police spokeswoman said the attacker was an African-American man about 5 feet, 11 inches tall. He was wearing a white sweatshirt.
Muslim taxi drivers in the UK
As in the United States British taxi drivers also face violence on a daily basis.
The Department for Transport’s National Taxi and Private Hire Statistics 2011 recorded 299,200 taxi drivers in Britain.
One in seven are of Pakistani ethnicity, one in eight are of Bangladeshi ethnicity and two in seven cab drivers in the UK are Muslim. The majority of Muslim taxi drivers are located in London, West Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South East.
You can read Dilly Hussain’s article “Muslim taxi drivers: The good, the bad and the ugly” where he discusses the grim reality of being a Muslim taxi driver in the UK.