Muslim taxi driver sacked over refusal to transport a guide dog

Muslim taxi driver sacked over refusal to transport a guide dog July 6, 2016

A taxi company in Leicester has sacked one of its employees and apologised to a couple denied service on religious grounds by driver who said he was a Muslim and that it was against his religion to transport their guide dog.
According to this report, in a shocking incident captured on mobile phone footage, the driver refused to accept Charles Bloch, his girlfriend Jessica Graham and his guide dog Carlo.
The couple, who are both registered blind after being born with visual impairments, were outraged by the refusal.
Bloch, a student at De Montfort University, said in the video:

By law you can’t deny us. It’s against the Disability Act of 1995.

The driver retorted:

I do not take the dog. It’s a choice for me. For me, it’s about my religion.

The driver eventually called his office to request another car, which Bloch refused by saying:

No, I want this car.

The driver ignores him, cancels the other car and drives off.
As the driver left, a shocked and upset Bloch said:

If you drive away I’ll sue you.

The taxi driver, who has not been identified, has since been told to find work elsewhere by the taxi company.
Darren Green, ADT Taxis office manager, said:

We very much regret this. The driver, who is self-employed has only been with us for two months. We will not use him again after this. I am visually impaired myself after suffering a detached retina. We have many customers who are visually impaired.

ADT Taxis has also issued a long apology on its Facebook page, saying:

We are deeply ashamed of the conduct of this Leicester City Council licensed driver and he clearly broke the law after not accepting a booking we gave to him on religious grounds and has been dispensed with as well as being reported to the council.
Our policy is clear, we do not discriminate. If we have drivers reported to us for breaking terms of their licence, we cut them off from our bookings system and no longer use their service. The manager is contacting the customer concerned, and will offer him a full apology and some free journeys.

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  • CoastalMaineBird

    Well, kudos to the company for doing the right thing.
    The driver, however, will probably not learn anything, and will go off muttering about how decadent the West is.

  • L.Long

    Religious Persecution!!!!!!!! Islame-o-phobia!!!!!
    I can hear the screams from here!!!
    The whole dog thing is silly, as much as dislike dogs in general, I would never do such a thing!! And neither should some dimwitted muslin, as there is nothing in the kakaran to prevent him from doing good!

  • remigius

    “By law you can’t deny us. It’s against the Disability Act of 1995.”
    The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 only applies in Northern Ireland. The relevant legislation for such discrimination is the Equality Act 2010.

  • Broga

    ““The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.” Mark Twain. A survey quoted in the “Daily Telegraph” found that 1 in 10 people preferred dogs to people. I’m surprised that it is only 1 in 10.
    I can see why some people don’t like dogs because so many people get a dog and can’t be bothered to discover how to train it. The dog is then a nuisance and sometimes dangerous. Rather like children I suppose.
    Our old Labrador was euthanased a month ago and that is an example of how suffering people should be treated. The house seems barren without him. We will choose a Labrador puppy next week.

  • Laura Roberts

    @Broga: I’m so sorry to hear about your Lab. It’s really hard to make the decision and then go through with it, even if it is more humane than the way we treat people.
    Kudos to the taxi service for firing this guy. This is how civilisation is supposed to work.

  • Broga

    @Laura Roberts : Thanks. It is a tough choice. The vet said he could keep him alive on drugs but, “He will never recover and he is suffering.” In circumstances like this we treat dogs better than people.

  • Angela_K

    “…it’s about my religion”
    It’s always about them and their grubby ideology, never about doing the decent thing for a fellow human being.

  • Broga

    @Laura Roberts: Thanks. It is a tough decision. The vet said he could keep him alive with drugs but, “He will never recover and he will suffer.” The dog was 11; the new pup will be the same bloodline. In circumstances like this we treat dogs with more kindness than we treat people.

  • barriejohn

    I wonder what the Christians, like Andrea Minichiello Williams, have to say about this case? Do they support the right of Muslims to refuse to do their job for religious reasons? She has complained previously about Muslim rights, and gay rights, “trumping” Christian rights, and Kim Davis evaded the question completely!

  • This event probably hurt the Muslim driver’s feelings and insulted his deeply held beliefs.
    Now, England, so it again. And again and again…

  • AgentCormac

    Really sorry to hear about your lab. I can’t imagine life without our two German pointers and know from previous experience just how big a hole it leaves when they go. But you do right getting another quickly – it’ll soon have you run off your feet!

  • Stephen Mynett

    Barriejohn, I had a brief correspondence with Christian Concern about the nurse Chaplin affair and pointed out that patients are endangered by any staff member refusing to follow safety guidelines and that it was also the case with some Islamics who refuse to properly clean up before procedures (leaving sleeves down to wrists while washing) and that patient safety and comfort is paramount in a hospital. I added there should be one law for all and that once one compromise was made patients were endangered.
    The reply ignored nearly all of my points and just whinged on about Christians being discriminated against. CC are a truly repugnant group but seemingly well funded and unwilling to consider anything but their own bigoted perspective.

  • jay

    As an atheist and a dog fan, I find this disturbing. However, as a supporter of personal freedom, I consider the customer’s refusal to accept what appears to be an offer of reasonable accommodation ( calling another cab) a bit over the s top as well.

  • Gill Kerry

    Sorry Jay, but this man is running a business and therefore the equality act overrides “personal freedom”. Of course the customer wanted the car that arrived. Maybe they had to be at their destination at a certain time. If it was me I wouldn’t want to wait for another taxi, at some indeterminate time. There is a lot of this going on just lately, not just from religiots either

  • Stephen Mynett

    Jay, so next time a taxi driver says to me: “Fuck off I don’t like cripples,” I just simply wait for a driver who will take me, that seems to be what you are advocating.
    Get a grip, this was discrimination on grounds of disability and religious prejudice. Sod cultural relativism, if you accept a job in a country you have to accept the laws and work practices of that country.

  • Paul

    I think the taxi company did a very good thing in immediately putting out the apology, well done to them. It made me feel there is still good out there (not the story though).
    The taxi driver, however, disgusts me. An idiotic belief system that beggars belief, resulting in a breach of the law. Our country is a tolerant one, often too much one can sometimes conclude, but what is there to tolerate in this man – very little.
    To end this report nicely, I hope he is prosecuted, given community service, made to work in the dogs home cleaning up dog shit and taking them for walks.

  • remigius

    There is an alternative to guide dogs. This blind woman’s parents wouldn’t let her have a guide dog because of religious reasons – so she found a solution.
    I’m pretty sure muslim taxi drivers won’t object to having a horse in their vehicle – after all Mad Mo had a magic flying one!

  • remigius

    In fact here’s a minicab spotted in Luton…

  • Cali Ron

    Paul : I liked your sentence for the driver, quite appropriate.
    Broga : Condolences on your lose. It’s a difficult choose, but you know in your heart when it is the right one. I still miss my yellow lab Bogie even though it’s been a few years. Labs are maddeningly rambunctious and fun for what seems like a very long puppyhood.

  • John the Drunkard

    Supposedly, Zoroastrians have a close affinity for dogs. Therefore elaborate revulsion and cruelty towards dogs became a Central Tenet of Sincere Religious Belief for Muslims.
    There are supposed to be hadith that are quite contrary to this. But of course Islam is always going to default in favor of Arab racism and bigotry.

  • barriejohn

    John: The Bible already cast dogs as the lowest form of life, so it would not be surprising if the originators of Islam borrowed such ideas, as they copied most of Judaism in a bastardised form!

  • barriejohn

    Remigius: I can beat that!
    (Seems to be kosher – some are photoshopped)

  • Paul

    Although a serious topic, on a lighter note: Surely there is a caption comp in the photo of the dog looking at the taxi driving away?
    Guide Dog-
    “Mate! I wouldn’t shag your leg for all
    The Pal in Birmingham”.

  • RussellW

    Religiots still haven’t got the message, no liberal democracy allows religious freedom.

  • If the dog had been a goat the driver would probably have been more than happy to allow it into his cab.

  • barriejohn

    RussellW: A lot of nonsense is spouted about “freedom”, personal liberty and human rights. In any human society it’s a trade-off between my right to behave as I wish and the right of others to respect and their own personal freedom. In the Western world we have representative democracies (Brexiteers please take note), who decide what behaviour we are going to allow, and what rules we will follow, and it generally works quite well as long as people are reasonable and tolerant. It’s called give and take. At present in the UK we allow people of a certain religious persuasion to dispense with the need to wear crash helmets, but health and safety rules do not normally merit exceptions (“persecution”). The government have not told everyone that they must keep a dog as a pet, but guide dogs must be allowed in shops, etc. If this really is a problem to anyone, then they need to find employment where contact with animals would not be necessary. Sadly, reasonable compromises and accommodations are not the province of the religious, who have to live by simple rules and regulations. “God” made the animals and pretty flowers; he made them all male and female; they produce “after their own kind”; hybrids and hermaphrodites are impossible or the work of some evil force, and so on and so forth. As long as they keep the rules, and remember not to walk on the cracks in the pavement, their lives will go well. Transgress and anything can happen! It’s difficult for sensible people to comprehend this simplistic world-view. When I was a young Christian, the parents of one of my Sunday School scholars expressed an interest in our faith. Knowing how keen everyone was on evangelism, I excitedly announced this fact to the elders, only to be met by a stony silence. Evidently, the couple were divorcees, and I was told that, should they start attending the church, that could “cause problems”, so drop it. I was amazed! Is it any wonder that people with that sort of outlook have problems coping with bisexuality, homosexuality, transsexuality, and so on? Everything has to fit in with their idea of what the world is like, so compromising means compromising their beliefs, and that they cannot do.
    Sorry to ramble on!

  • Pierre

    There were no such vehicles as cars when the Koran was written so how can it be against his religion?

  • RussellW

    I agree with your ‘ramble’ completely, apart from your comments on direct democracy, however we should leave that for another time. One of the most alarming headlines I noticed recently was—- “Does religious freedom trump human rights?”From memory, it was a title of a public debate. I thought WTF, religious freedom is a human right like any other and not part of a separate category. One of the most toxic doctrines that the loony left has adopted is the ‘accommodation’ of religious prejudices in the name of toleration. That’s the road to submission.
    There’s no compromise, Muslims should obey the laws of civilised societies or move to those countries that will allow them to practise their superstitions, or stay in their Sharia-infected crap holes. I wonder if the arrogant attitude of the followers of Muhammed has emboldened Christian religiots in the West, they are trying to find allies against the secular state. They’re remarkably naive, you can’t make an alliance with crocodiles.
    Despite a Christian education, I’ve never been a believer, so religious mentalities are just baffling to me, I just don’t get it. One of my neighbors is the daughter of Pentecostalists, when she married another Christian, but outside the cult, her parents disowned her, I thought that they were complete and utter bastards. She’s been under psychiatric care for some time.

  • barriejohn

    Despite a Christian education, I’ve never been a believer.
    That’s almost comical!

  • Chris

    Having had to explain to more than 40 people why I asked an instructor to keep his dog on a lead for a group that contained a Muslim who did not want to touch dogs, I imagine that many people reading this story have no idea about what Muslims do or do not do.
    Catholic doctors have the right to refuse to provide contraception on religious grounds if they refer the patient to another doctor. I don’t see how this is any different and the driver offered a second vehicle. Either a taxi was booked without saying there was a guide dog or the control room did not inform the driver, neither of which is the drivers fault.
    He wasn’t sacked, he is a self employed contractor.