A Muslim cab driver and former Iraq war veteran named Mohamed A. Salim has claimed that a man accused him of being a ‘jihadist’, used profanities and later broke his jaw. The incident occurred in Northern Virginia on Friday and is being regarded as a hate crime against the Muslim man by Muslim group activists.
Salim said in an interview that Emerald Aviation President Ed Dahlberg attacked him after the driver picked him up in his cab at a Country Club of Fairfax.
Dahlberg was drunk and as soon as he sat in the cab, he started asking Salim questions regarding Jihad. Salim recorded the whole conversation on his cell phone during which Dahlberg can be heard asking the cab driver to define ‘jihad’ and then abusing him by attributing him as one of the “radical f****** Muslims blowing people all over the world.”
Dahlberg later threatened to ‘slice Salim’s throat’ because the aviation executive accused him of being a jihadist who kills people.
The cab driver threatened to call 911 after which Dahlberg went on to grab his cell phone. But before leaving, Salim alleged that Ed Dahlberg attacked him and broke his jaw.
Along with the help of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations Organization (CAIRO), Salim’s recorded conversation and medical reports, charges have been filed against Dahlberg which are being considered by the police to be elevated to a felony hate crime.
Dahlberg’s attorney, Demetry Pikrallidas, has also admitted that his client was angry on the subject of jihadists who want to harm America, became “emotional” on the subject of 9/11 and therefore verbally abused the cab driver. But Pikrallidas maintained that his client had not attacked Salim.
Salim is a Somali emigrant and an Army Reserve sergeant who has served in Iraq and at the Guantanamo Bay detention prison. He stated in an interview with CNN that he was not a jihadist; in fact he had spent a part of his life fighting against them.
The case has garnered a lot of attention since the incident comes almost two weeks after the Boston Marathon explosions. A lot of anti-Islamic rhetoric was observed following the unfortunate incident and what happened with Mohamed A. Salim is being regarded as an episode of just that.
While Dahlberg’s anti-terrorism wrath can be justified, he certainly cannot be excused for holding prejudicial views which can lead to possible hate crimes.
You can listen to the recorded conversation between Mohamed A. Salim and Ed Dahlberg here.