NEW YORK, NY: With the buzz surrounding the construction of an Islamic cultural center and mosque near ground zero, tensions are running high. You can’t help but think that Tuesday’s attack on New York taxi driver, Ahmed Sharif, was connected to this when one man’s rage spun out of control. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg met with the victim today at City Hall today and calls the attack a “disgrace.” He went on to say, “No matter how wonderful this country is, no matter how wonderful this city is, there’s always somebody that acts disgracefully. It’s kind of hard to understand why, maybe they don’t understand our values and how lucky we are to live here.”
Sharif believes the attacker, Michael Enright, targeted him because of his religion and stated, “Of course it was for my religion — he attacked me after he knew I was a Muslim.”
In Sharif’s criminal complaint, he alleges that Enright asked if he was Muslim before taking aim at his face and neck with a Leatherman brand knife. Luckily, Sharif managed to keep Enright securely locked in the vehicle until he got a police officer to arrest him. At the scene, Enright was so intoxicated and confused that he was brought to the hospital for psychiatric evaluations, police said.
Even after the attack, Sharif, who immigrated from Bangladesh, continued to have faith in the American dream. He explained, “I work hard. I try to support my family and I believe in this country if you work hard and you’re honest, you’re good, you can have anything you want.”
When Bloomberg was asked Thursday if the attack could have been fueled by the opposition to the Islamic cultural center and mosque, he replied, “You never know what’s related. I wasn’t in the cab.” What do you think?