There are many terrible crimes that one person can perpetrate on another....and a hate crime is certainly one of them. When Ahmed Sharif was brutally stabbed by an intoxicated and belligerent young man last week, the very worst of humanity was shown to a cab driver who's only crime was his faith. That is not the United States that our founders envisioned and it is certainly not how the great majority of Americans feel about religious tolerance currently.
While most of us shook our heads at the news last week, and were grateful that Mr. Sharif was not killed in the act, the aftermath is still serious. Currently Mr. Sharif is out of work and the benefits afforded to him by the Taxi Worker Alliance does not go the distance for his wife and children..
CNN has more on this:
"Ahmed is a strong man, but mentally he has limits," said Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. "The trauma he's experienced will last for a long time."
Desai spent time this weekend with Sharif. She said his most pressing worry is how he'll provide for his wife and four children -- including a 10-month-old --without a job. Sharif is receiving 2/3 of his salary, about $30,000 a year, in workers' compensation. Union members do not get health insurance or disability payments, Desai said.
"My guess is that he'll be unable to work for at least four months," Desai said. "He can't even pick up his baby because of the wounds to his arms. He can't turn his neck."
An assistance fund was set up for Ahmed and his family, but sadly not much has been contributed to it. Perhaps there hasn't been too much in the way of publicity other than the initial newscasts covering the story. Hopefully it is not due to a lack of compassion on the part of New Yorkers. Instead of simply lamenting about it, I have donated $10.00 dollars and would like all those that read to give the same, or even $5.00 to help out. If you can't cover that, ask someone else to contribute. America is bigger than this heinous act, and I for one believe we should prove it.