Muslim Cabbies Struggle with Ramadan in Big Western Cities
June 20, 2015, 04:05 PM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF
Customs deriving from a desert religion can be inconvenient. The Islam holiday of Ramadan requires Muslims to fast from dawn to sundown for a month, which can put a crimp into normal behaviors like work.

Ramadan is determined by a lunar calendar, so it occurs in varying seasons over the years. This year’s observance starts around June 17, near the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. So in wandering so far from their homelands nearer the equator, Allah’s gangsters have to fast for much longer periods. For example, the period of daylight in London (51 degrees N) now is around 19 hours.

How unfortunate that a religion based on warfare and violence has holidays where its followers become grouchy from daily hunger. To commemorate the tendency toward worsened savagery during the month, TheReligionOfPeace.com website is about to roll out its annual Ramadan Bombathon scorecard to keep track of the unfolding carnage.

Back in London, the BBC reports that some Muslims won’t be working at night when they are feasting in the Ramadan style — and it’s serious eating, where not a few Muslims gain weight during the month of fasting. Some Allah-bots, such as cab drivers, won’t work at all during the month.

And that’s a lot of taxi drivers, since one million Muslims reside in London, which is no longer majority white because of the extreme levels of immigration for decades.

Summer Ramadan hits 25% of cab drivers who stop work at sun-down, BBC News, June 19, 2015

At least a quarter of minicab and taxi drivers in London are stopping work once the sun goes down to mark Ramadan.

The holy month commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, according to Islamic belief.

Organisations which represent drivers said at least 25% were finishing their shifts before sundown to return home and break their fasts with family.

It is estimated about one million Londoners will fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan.

The Muslim holy month follows the lunar calendar and as such it is the first time in many years it has fallen at this point in the summer when daylight lasts for about 19 hours.

Steve Wright, chairman of the Licensed Private Hire Car Association, said: “We are aware that many private hire and taxi drivers won’t be working during Ramadan. It’s certainly very tight, it’s about 25%, but it doesn’t stop the world from turning.” [. . .]

But what about the United States? Are men in turbans grumpy from low blood sugar driving American cabs? Or not?

As it happens, Muslim drivers are bad enough even when they eat lunch. In 2013, a Mohammed caused a young woman visiting from Britain to lose her leg when he drove onto the sidewalk in a fit of anger.

Another horrible driver was the Afghan immigrant who killed the celebrated Sixty Minutes journalist Bob Simon in February. Abdul Fedahi had multiple license suspensions and one functioning arm, yet he was allowed to drive professionally. Simon’s widow filed a lawsuit against him a few days ago.

Anyway in New York City (41 degrees N, 15 hours daylight now), Islam cabbies “struggle” with the strain of Ramadan. Poor little lambs. Their desert customs are not a good fit with the big infidel city. They can alway go home. Many immigrants have.

Thousands of city cabbies struggle as Ramadan routine begins, New York Daily News, June 18, 2015

It’s fast times for thousands of city taxi drivers.

Thursday morning marked the first day of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, meaning that from sunrise to sunset, observant cabbies will have to hustle for fares without food or water.

“Always, you have a headache the first three days,” said Ashraf Ashour, 48.

Ashour is among legions from predominantly Muslim countries, comprising roughly half the city’s taxi workforce. While seasoned vets have refined their Ramadan routines, observing the holiday can be a pain in the wallet for nighttime drivers whose shifts overlap with the holiday’s obligations.

Ashour said his usual daily take of around $300 drops to little more than $200, barely covering expenses. Many drivers miss out on a prime time for fares by going to a lengthy 10 p.m. prayer session. Mohammad Tipu Sultan, a driver and New York Taxi Workers Alliance organizer, said it’s difficult making money during Ramadan while keeping the faith.

“I don’t see anybody say, ‘I’m making my money for today,’ ” he said.

The night shift replaces tradition. Majid Ali, a 26-year-old Pakistani driver, has missed out on the holiday feast of curry dishes with chicken or lamb.

“I’ll just chew the gum,” he said. “Many times, when I’m in traffic, that’s the only thing I do.”