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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Muslim Taxi Driver Ignorant Of Islamic Law, Says Cleric

A senior Muslim cleric has said that it is not against Islam for a Muslim taxi driver to carry a guide dog in his cab. Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, chair of the inter faith relations committee of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), said that minicab driver Abdul Rasheed Majekodunmi was “ill-informed” about Muslim law. Islamic law says Muslims should wash before praying if they come into contact with dog saliva, which is considered unclean and impure.

Mr Majekodumni pleaded guilty last month, under the Disability Discrimination Act, to refusing to carry out the booking. He was fined £200 and told to pay £1,200 costs. He was booked to pick up Jane Vernon, a legal officer at the RNIB, after she was interviewed on the BBC. She later said the incident in October 2005 made her feel like "a second-class citizen".

The MCB will meet with The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association next month to discuss the issue. A Disability Rights Commission spokeswoman said the Muslim Shariat Council confirmed four years ago that assistance dogs can accompany disabled people into restaurants or taxis managed or driven by Muslims.


Published Fri, 03 Nov 2006