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NYC taxi driver slashed by passenger because he is Muslim: nonprofit disavows alleged perpetrator

Statute of Liberty by Elcobbola
Statute of Liberty by Elcobbola

On Tuesday night (8/24) in an apparent hate crime, Ahmed Sharif (age 43), who was working at his job as a taxi driver, was brutally stabbed in his throat, face, and arm by a passenger because he is Muslim.

According to the New York Times, 21-year-old Michael Enright of Brewster, NY, hailed Mr. Sharif’s taxi, asked him if he were Muslim, and then said “as-salaamu alaikum” and “consider this a checkpoint” before assaulting him. Apparently, Mr’ Sharif’s neck was slashed halfway across his throat, nearly costing him his life.

Today, Mr. Enright was arraigned in the Manhattan Criminal Court and charged with second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, first-degree assault as a hate crime, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He is being held without bail.

Mr. Enright, who is reported to have volunteered at Intersections International, a nonprofit organization that promotes cross-cultural understanding, is apparently “shocked” at the allegations against him.

Intersections International released the following press release today:

“Wednesday, August 25, 2010



"Rev. Robert Chase, Executive Director,
Joseph Ward III, Communications Director,

“We have learned about an incident wherein one of our volunteers may have been charged with a hate crime in a stabbing incident that involved a New York City cab driver on Tuesday evening
“The alleged perpetrator is not an employee and has never been an employee of Intersections. There is a person who fits the description of the alleged perpetrator who has worked with us as a volunteer, but until we get further confirmation of the details in this incident, we cannot comment.

“Our hearts go out to the cab driver, his family and any person who has dealt with such unacceptable violence.

“Intersections is on record, explicitly and consistently, as promoting interfaith dialogue and cross cultural cooperation, specifically with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We deplore violence and any act that may be categorized as a hate crime.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all parties in this tragic incident.”

* Permission granted to use image under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

For further reading, check out these articles:

Ground Zero bigotry over Cordoba House: The Ripple Effect

Hate Crime in the United States: Do you know where the hate groups are in your state?

Is the West ready for Graham E. Fuller's forthcoming book 'A World Without Islam'?


  • Abdulameer 4 years ago

    It has been established that Enright was "very drunk". Had he been behind the wheel of a car and killed someone in that state, he would be considered DUI. This does not justify what he did, of course. The attempted murder charge is legitimate. But, let's not seize upon this incident to disparage the legitimate protesters against the Ground Zero mosque. And, how come, when Moslems kill non-Moslems in the name of Islam, that is not classified as a "hate crime"? Is Major Hassan being charged with a "hate crime"?

  • j. samia 4 years ago

    H Abdulameer,

    As a former prosecutor, the fact that he was drunk does not mitigate what he did. Many crimes are committed while a person is drunk or under the influence of drugs. If a Muslim in this country killed someone because they were of a different religion or whatever category falls within the particular hate-crime statute, he or she could be charged with a hate crime. Charging though is in the discretion of the prosecutor's office. You would have to ask the office in charge why or why not a particular crime was charged in the way it was.

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