New York: Mayor Bloomberg welcomes Ahmed Sharif to City Hall

Yesterday at City Hall, Mayor Bloomberg met with Ahmed Sharif, the cab driver who was stabbed by a drunken passenger because of his religion. Despite the harrowing experience, and the lingering trauma from the attack, Sharif affirmed his love for NYC: “I feel like I belong here. This is the city actually [for] all colors, races, religion, everyone. We live here side by side peacefully.”

Bloomberg invited Sharif, his wife, and their four children to meet after Sharif was attacked by Michael Enright, a 21-year-old film student who had spent some time in Afghanistan making a documentary about soldiers. Asked whether he thought Enright’s attack had any relation to the planned mosque and community center two blocks from Ground Zero, Sharif said, “We didn’t have a talk about the mosque… Of course this was for my religion. He attacked me after he knew I was a Muslim.”

Bhairavi Desai of the Taxi Workers Alliance, which is 50% Muslim, said violence felt “inevitable” after all the political rhetoric and furor around the Ground Zero mosque: “While they can hide behind a podium and bully pulpit, it’s the ordinary working person on the street that faces the consequences. Fearmongering leads to hate crimes.”

Gothamist, 27 August 2010