*

 

8.25.2010

"are you a muslim?" - man charged with hate crime attack on cabbie

Last night, a Manhattan taxi driver was allegedly attacked by a passenger who asked if the cabbie was Muslim. When Ahmed H. Sharif responded that he was, he was stabbed several times by 21-year-old Michael Enright. The incident is being treated as a hate crime: NYPD Charges Man With Hate Crime After He Allegedly Stabbed Muslim Cab Driver.
James Zaleta, an assistant district attorney, said in court that Mr. Enright hailed a taxi near the intersection of 24th Street and Second Avenue on Tuesday evening. Mr. Enright asked the taxi driver, who was from Bangladesh, if he was Muslim, Mr. Zaleta said.

After the driver said he was, Mr. Enright responded with the Arabic greeting, "Asalam Alakum," according to the criminal court complaint.

Then Mr. Enright said, "Consider this a checkpoint," before pulling out a Leatherman utility knife and slashing the taxi driver's throat, Mr. Zaleta said. The driver turned and Mr. Enright slashed him in his face and forearms, Mr. Zaleta said.

The driver locked all four doors and drove to 42nd Street, Mr. Zaleta said, but Mr. Enright somehow got out of the car on the way. The driver flagged down a police officer standing on a corner and the officer apprehended Mr. Enright, Mr. Zaleta said.

Mr. Enright sliced the driver's "neck open halfway across his throat," Mr. Zaleta said.

The knife was not recovered, but a Leatherman pouch was found in the back seat of the taxi, Mr. Zaleta said.

"This is a highly vicious attack on an innocent person based on his religion," Mr. Zaleta said.
Enright was arraigned this afternoon in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, first-degree assault as a hate crime and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

It's being reported that Enright is a volunteer with Intersections International, a nonprofit that "works to promote cross-cultural understanding and has spoken out in favor of the proposed Islamic cultural center near ground zero." I get the strong sense that Mr. Enright is no longer welcome to work with Intersections.

You want to talk about extremism? Look no further than this Fox News-fueled young hater. Of course, according to Enright's lawyer, "He's terrified. He's shocked at the allegations. He's just trying to cope with it right now." Let me guess, Michael. Lord Voldemort made you do it. More here: Taxi driver stabbed after being asked 'Are you a Muslim?'