The poison of the rightwing anti-Muslim bigotry of the past few weeks has ripened in the Big Apple:
A city cab driver is in the hospital after being stabbed by a passenger who allegedly asked if he was Muslim, police tell NY1.
Investigators with the New York City Police Department say it all began Monday night when a 21-year-old man hailed a cab at 24th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan.
Police say the passenger asked the driver, “Are you Muslim?” When the driver said yes the passenger pulled a knife and slashed him in the throat, arm and lip.
The 43-year-old driver was able to lock the passenger in the back of the cab and call 911.
Both the driver and the passenger were taken to Bellevue Hospital.
I’m sure this guy wasn’t a Fox News watcher or a Rush Limbaugh listener, right? Right?
According to Detective Marc Nell, at 6:14 pm last night, the driver picked up Michael Enright, 21, of Brewster, NY, at the intersection of 24th Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. The cab proceeded to drive north, and Enright asked the driver, who Nell identified as a 43-year-old Asian male, if he was Muslim. After the driver responded that he was, Enright allegedly stabbed him repeatedly with a Leatherman tool, according to police.
“[Enright] stabbed the driver in the throat, right arm, left forearm, right thumb and upper lip,” Nell said.
According to police, the driver called 911, and stopped the cab on 3rd Avenue between 40th and 41st streets, managing to lock Enright inside until police arrived.
Nell told TPM that the cab driver is in stable condition, and that Enright has been charged with “attempted murder two as a hate crime, assault with a weapon as a hate crime, aggravated harassment second degree because of race and religion, and criminal possession of a weapon.”
UPDATE — WTF???
The man accused of stabbing a Muslim NYC cab driver hardly has the background one might expect from someone charged with a hate crime committed in a drunken rage.
Michale Enright is a film student at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and has been working at Intersection International, a multifaith and multicultural effort which seeks to promote justice and peace. The project’s website is strongly supportive of the Codoba House project in lower Manhattan and videos of its leader, Imam Faisel Rauf, are posted on their website.
The 21-year-old aspiring filmmaker had been to Afghanistan recently, working on a documentary on a high school buddy of his who enlisted in the Marines. His efforts to embed with his friend were the subject of a profile in the local paper.
The documentary he was working on was “completely nonpolitical,” Enright said. “It’s just showing the young people who are spearheading our foreign policy. They’re doing what I don’t have to do.”
Could this be a hoax by the cabbie?
NEXT DAY UPDATE: Nope. Clearly Michael Enright was anti-Muslim. Among things found on him were a notebook full of anti-Muslim screeds.
And there’s definitely more anti-Muslim sentiment on the rise.