Archive for October 11th, 2006

Airport Drops Muslim Cabbie Compromise

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

For those who might have missed this, Muslim cabbies at the airport in Minneapolis, MN have refused to take people who are visibly carrying liquor. Last week, launching into appeasement mode, The Metropolitan Airports Commission had been working with the Muslim American Society on a plan to label Muslim cabs with a special light as a “wave-off” for people carry liquor.
This week, thanks to a public response that was overwhelmingly negative, the commission has backed away from any appeasement. Now if a cabbie refuses a fare (customer) then he must return to the end of the line, which could mean that he has to wait up to three hours before having another chance.
Sounds fair to me.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Airport officials gave up Tuesday on a proposal to meant to ensure that travelers carrying liquor don’t get stranded at the curb by Muslim cabbies who refuse to transport alcohol.

Hundreds of the taxi drivers who serve Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are Muslims, and many of them, citing Islamic prohibitions against alcohol, refuse to knowingly take passengers who are carrying see-through bags of duty-free liquor, wine boxes from the Napa Valley and the like.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission had been working with the Muslim American Society and taxi companies on a pilot program under which drivers who won’t take riders carrying alcohol would put a different top light on their cabs. That would have allowed airport employees to direct these travelers to willing drivers.

But the Metropolitan Airports Commission said the public response was overwhelmingly negative, and some taxi companies feared that people opposed to the system would switch to other forms of ground transport instead of cabs.

Also, MAC noted, back in May when discussions began cabbies were refusing customers with alcohol an average of 77 times per month. But since then, the government has imposed new security rules that prohibit travelers from taking most liquids through security checkpoints, except in containers smaller than three ounces.

That’s led to a sharp drop in travelers carrying alcohol — so fewer are being refused service by taxi drivers.

Jeff Hamiel, executive director of the airports commission, said he hopes representatives from the taxi industry will keep working toward a solution.

“The bottom line is that no one should be denied taxi service simply because they have alcohol in their possession,” Hamiel said.

For now, though, taxi drivers who refuse to carry these travelers will continue to forfeit their place in the taxi queue and return to the back of the line, which often means a three-hour wait for another fare.

Original Link.

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs said it well in his post:
“In fact, these drivers shouldn’t just go to the back of the line, they should lose their licenses. This behavior is un-American, and we wouldn’t even think of allowing this kind of outrageous discrimination if it were directed at any other group of people, for any other reason.”

U.S. Banks Woo Migrants, Legal Or Otherwise

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

Not only are liberals and migrant dependent businesses thumbing their noses at immigration law, but now the U.S. Federal Reserve has decided to give it a try. Are there some other meanings to the words “illegal immigrant” that I’m not aware of? Is the word “illegal” so difficult to understand?

As U.S. leaders craft policies to curb illegal immigration from Mexico, the U.S. Federal Reserve is devising programs to extend banking services to undocumented immigrants. A new remittance program aims to bring Mexican migrants who send money home into the mainstream U.S. financial system, regardless of their immigration status.

Dubbed “Directo a Mexico,” the remittance program enables U.S. commercial banks to make money transfers for Mexican workers through the Federal Reserve’s own automated clearinghouse, which is linked to Banco de Mexico, the Mexican central bank.

To use the service, a Mexican need only possess a matricula consular, an I.D. issued by the Mexican consulate in most major U.S. cities to those with proof of Mexican birth or citizenship, or a picture I.D. card issued by the U.S. or another foreign government. The idea is to make it cheaper and safer for Mexican workers to send funds to their relatives.

“We offer an extremely competitive exchange rate,” says Elizabeth McQuerry, an Atlanta-based assistant vice president for the Federal Reserve Bank’s retail payments office. “We cost a third of other providers.”

The majority of immigrants currently make transfers, which average $350 each, through companies like Western Union or a hodgepodge of wire-transfer firms, couriers and others that operate out of storefronts in Hispanic enclaves. Family members then collect the wired cash at a shop in their town or village.

The Federal Reserve Bank and Banco de Mexico launched a cross-country road show over the summer to promote the new funds-transfer program to commercial banks. Banks that offer the service hope to attract new customers. Indeed, one of the Federal Reserve Bank’s goals is to use the program as a springboard for drawing hundreds of thousands of immigrants into the formal U.S. banking system since commercial banks require that those wanting the service first open a savings account.

“People who didn’t have bank accounts establish a relationship with us,” says James Maloney, chairman of Mitchell Bank in Milwaukee, one of the first banks to offer the Federal Reserve Bank’s remittance plan. “It’s great for our business.”

Acknowledging that many Mexicans sending money home are illegal immigrants, the Federal Reserve’s brochure poses the following frequently asked question: “If I return to Mexico or am deported, will I lose the money in my bank account?” The answer: “No. The money still belongs to you and can be easily accessed at an ATM in Mexico using your debit card.”

Original Link. (Subscription Required)
Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin.

Perseverance

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

James 1:2-8 (New International Version)

We all face trials every day. Some trials as simple as “what shall I wear today” to life threatening trials. As you face your trials of today, remember that God loves you and wants to help you.
As James points out, perseverance, to the will of the Lord, is necessary in order to “be mature and complete”. God wants the best for you. He wants you to ask Him when you have a need. But God also wants you to have faith that He will grant your request. He wants you to persevere over all the trials you face.
Is anything too hard for the Creator of the Universe? No, certainly not. Our troubles must be so mundane to Him. Yet, God never treats our problems and our request as mundane. He holds each and every one of them to His heart and gives them His full attention.
God will always answer your prayers. He will support you in your trials. He asks nothing in return, because He does these things out of love for us. He beseeches us to trust Him, to have faith in Him and to love Him.
God wants us to persevere against all trials. God only wants what is best for us.

A Prayer of Perseverance:
Lord, help us to always remember that we can turn to you. When we are pushed to the limits of our endurance, please help us to remember that your endurance is infinite, and you offer it to us. Please help us to persevere against the trails that assault us daily, and help us to hold to our faith that you will grant us grace and wisdom.
We know you love us with all your heart, Lord. We love you too.
Please guide us in your will.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Devout Christians march for Zionism in Jerusalem

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

Continue to pray for and support Israel. Christians have an obligation to do this.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – More than 5,000 evangelical Christians, including believers from as far afield as Congo and New Zealand, marched through Jerusalem on Tuesday to voice their support for Zionism and the state of Israel.

The event, organized by a group known as the International Christian Embassy of Israel, was the latest trip to the Holy Land by what are dubbed Christian Zionists, whose avid support for Israel has angered some Christian bishops and the Vatican.

“I am here to show my love and support for the people of Israel,” said Mpoy Muambi, a pastor from the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose thick maroon-wool suit left him looking slightly out of place in Jerusalem’s searing sun.

Christian Zionists form a growing part of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, the Jewish state’s main ally. They believe the return of Jews to the Holy Land and establishment of Israel are proof of God’s promises to biblical patriarchs.

In recent years, Christian Zionist groups in the United States have even provided money for social and educational groups in Israel, and have actively promoted its politics.

Original Link.

“Evil Men and Seducers” by Terry James

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

This past week produced, for all who consider such things, signals of significant prophetic import; i.e., news that has endtime implications dominated our national headlines.

A 16-year-old high school girl was murdered and others sexually assaulted at their school in Colorado. Five little girls were murdered, tied up, and executed at point-blank range. Three died on the spot; two more died the following day. In both cases, the killer was a male with satanic hatred at the back of his crime. The man in Colorado indicated, through a suicide letter left to his brother, that he had been wronged 20 years earlier by a female. The second man, who murdered the children at the Amish private school in Nickel Mines, PA, was said to have an insane hatred for God because his newborn daughter died 9 years ago.

Then there is the politically generated story that is the tip of the cesspool iceberg that our nation’s capital has become. A congressman –one who had the specific committee duty to watch out for the welfare of our children—was caught sending and receiving salacious e-mail instant messages with distinctive homosexual overtones to a male page. His and his political party’s enemies in politics and media, rather than getting right to ending the congressman’s dalliance –or intended dalliance—with the child, held on to the information, apparently for nearly three years, in order –again apparently—to bring it out near mid-term elections in order to make maximum political hay.

Indeed,our headlines just this past week painted a vivid portrait of these perilous times.

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13). Can there be argument against the obvious –that these were evil men who murdered these girls? Can there be much argument against the obvious fact that we are seeing more and more instances of pedophile predators on the internet, in and around any function where children are present, and that the nation’s capital is ripe with every form of lascivious behavior? And, spinning from those observations, can we plausibly deny that the seducers of politics –in both major parties, and others– will do whatever they can to attain political advantage for their own causes, even at the terrible cost of sacrificing our kids for the politicians’ own political expediencies?

———-

The party in power when prayer was taken out of schools in 1963 was the party still in power –legislatively and judicially—in 1973, at the time the decision was made to allow wholesale slaughter of children in the womb. From those actions have come a plethora of legislation and Supreme Court rulings (effectively, legislating from the judicial bench) that are taking us exactly where people like the political hack mentioned above wants us to go.

Again, evil men and seducers cross party lines. They are increasingly acting, in the human sense, to manifest where we stand on God’s prophetic timeline. We, indeed, wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Original Link.

“Don’t Bring That Booze into My Taxi” by Daniel Pipes

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

A minor issue at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) has potentially major implications for the future of Islam in the United States.

Starting about a decade ago, some Muslim taxi drivers serving the airport declared that they would not transport passengers visibly carrying alcohol, in transparent duty-free shopping bags, for example. This stance stemmed from their understanding of the Koran’s ban on alcohol. A driver named Fuad Omar explained: “This is our religion. We could be punished in the afterlife if we agree to [transport alcohol]. This is a Koran issue. This came from heaven.” Another driver, Muhamed Mursal, echoed his words: “It is forbidden in Islam to carry alcohol.”

The issue emerged publicly in 2000. On one occasion, 16 drivers in a row refused a passenger with bottles of alcohol. This left the passenger – who had done nothing legally wrong – feeling like a criminal. For their part, the 16 cabbies lost income. As Josh L. Dickey of the Associated Press put it, when drivers at MSP refuse a fare for any reason, “they go to the back of the line. Waaaay back. Past the terminal, down a long service road, and into a sprawling parking lot jammed with cabs in Bloomington, where drivers sit idle for hours, waiting to be called again.”

To avoid this predicament, Muslim taxi drivers asked the Metropolitan Airports Commission for permission to refuse passengers carrying liquor – or even suspected of carrying liquor – without being banished to the end of the line. MAC rejected this appeal, worried that drivers might offer religion as an excuse to refuse short-distance passengers.

The number of Muslim drivers has by now increased, to the point that they reportedly make up three-quarters of MSP’s 900 cabdrivers. By September 2006, Muslims turned down an estimated three fares a day based on their religious objection to alcohol, an airport spokesman, Patrick Hogan, told the Associated Press, adding that this issue has “slowly grown over the years to the point that it’s become a significant customer service issue.”

“Travelers often feel surprised and insulted,” Mr. Hogan told USA Today.

With this in mind, MAC proposed a pragmatic solution: drivers unwilling to carry alcohol could get a special color light on their car roofs, signaling their views on alcohol to taxi starters and customers alike. From the airport’s point of view, this scheme offers a sensible and efficient mechanism to resolve a minor irritant, leaving no passenger insulted and no driver losing business. “Airport authorities are not in the business of interpreting sacred texts or dictating anyone’s religious choices,” Hogan points out. “Our goal is simply to ensure travelers at [the airport] are well served.” Awaiting approval only from the airport’s taxi advisory committee, the two-light proposal will likely be in operation by the end of 2006.

But on a societal level, the proposed solution has massive and worrisome implications. Namely, the two-light plan intrudes the Shari‘a, or Islamic law, with state sanction, into a mundane commercial transaction in Minnesota. A government authority thus sanctions a signal as to who does or does not follow Islamic law.

What of taxi drivers beyond those at MSP? Other Muslims in Minneapolis-St. Paul and across the country could well demand the same privilege. Bus conductors might follow suit. The whole transport system could be divided between those Islamically observant and those not so.

Why stop with alcohol? Muslim taxi drivers in several countries already balk at allowing seeing-eye dogs in their cars. Future demands could include not transporting women with exposed arms or hair, homosexuals, and unmarried couples. For that matter, they could ban men wearing kippas, as well as Hindus, atheists, bartenders, croupiers, astrologers, bankers, and quarterbacks.

MAC has consulted on the taxi issue with the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society, an organization the Chicago Tribune has established is devoted to turning the United States into a country run be Islamic law. The wife of a former head of the organization, for example, has explained that its goal is “to educate everyone about Islam and to follow the teachings of Islam with the hope of establishing an Islamic state.”

It is precisely the innocuous nature of the two-light taxi solution that makes it so insidious – and why the Metropolitan Airports Commission should reconsider its wrong-headed decision. Readers who wish to make their views known to the MAC can write it at publicaffairs@mspmac.org.

Original Link.