The Cleveland-based chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations said earlier this month that Standard Parking Co., a group contracted by the city to handle parking operations, prohibits cab drivers from leaving their vehicles while they wait in line to pick up arrivals at the airport.
The policy also bans prayer in the taxi queue and prohibits other cab drivers from advancing vehicles in the taxi line for the praying driver.
If seen praying, they will be in violation of the policy and could be banned from picking up fares.
It seems there are two issues here: prayer, and traffic management. Keeping cabbies from leaving vehicles is fine if needed to keep traffic moving smoothly, even if that does not permit Somalis to pray in the manner to which they have become accustomed. And of course that would also apply to cabbies leaving their own cabs to cover for their praying colleagues, though that might be a point for compromise. But banning prayer in the taxi queue is simply anti-religious. Yes, it’s a “private company” doing so, but it’s a company which has been given a city monopoly, so by extension, this is a church-state issue. How can you ban somebody from praying in their own cab? Perhaps the way to handle this is for CAIR to fund a lawsuit by the cabbies against Standard Parking. That should back them down.
The comments on this piece are interesting. What I want to know of these legal Somali immigrants is this: how many of you paid your own way here, how many were funded by private charity, and how many were imported here as refugees by the US government? I’ve got no problem with the first 2 classes of people. But I highly doubt the wisdom of government schlepping a mess of Muslims into the country.
And I like that “religious advocacy group” label… would that apply to most evangelistic associations?