UK

Paris Attacks: Weeping Muslim Taxi Driver Inspires Heartbreaking Message Of Support Against Islamophobia

16/11/2015 10:49 GMT | Updated 16/11/2015 11:59 GMT

A hair salon manager has paid tribute to a Muslim taxi driver who picked him up in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks.

Alex Malloy hailed the cab in Manhattan just after 11pm on Friday night and was surprised when his tearful driver immediately thanked him.

What followed for Malloy was “one of the most heartbreaking moments I’ve ever experienced” as the man explained how he had been unable to pick up any other passengers for the previous two hours.

The driver, suspecting his Muslim faith was putting people off from entering his cab, wept as he told Malloy: “Allah, my God does not believe in this! People think I’m a part of this and I’m not’.

SEE ALSO: Stephen King Sums Up Why It's Wrong To Blame All Muslims For The Paris Attacks

“Nobody wants to drive with me because they feel unsafe. I can’t even do my job.”

Malloy, 23, was also moved to tears during the encounter and tweeted a lengthy account of the drive, in which he tried to reassure the man.

“For 25 minutes I had to tell this stranger, this human being like you and I, that he was not a part of what was happening and how sorry I was people were looking at him with fear or anger.”

“Of course the whole ride I told this man how I, as many other in this nation don’t view him that way. We are happy to have him here and will do anything to protect him.

“There are however people who don’t feel this way and it’s heartbreaking. A simple man doing his job felt under attack because of people who are claiming to be his religion but not because they are extremists."

GRAPHIC WARNING: Paris attacks

Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS and ISIL) have claimed responsibility for the atrocities which saw 129 people killed in a wave of attacks across the city on Friday night.

Malloy’s post – which can be read in its entirety below – had been retweeted nearly 30,000 times in less than 24 hours.

He told Huffington Post: “The replies were so touching and so sincere. It wasn’t just the Muslim community replying, but everybody replying. Especially at a time like this, in our country and in our world… to see people come together over something I had written and saying, ‘This is so important’ – it made me cry.”

Malloy’s account in full:

“The cab ride I just had home was the saddest 25 mins I’ve experienced from another human being.

“This Muslim cab driver said I was his first customer [in] the past two hours tonight because of the attacks in Paris.

“People have been scared because of New York City being on high alert. For 25 minutes I had to tell this stranger, this human being like you and I, that he was not a part of what was happening and how sorry I was people were looking at him with fear or anger.

“He cried the whole way to my apartment and it made me cry too. He kept saying ‘Allah, my God does not believe in this! People think I’m a part of this and I’m not’.

“’People think I’m a part of this and I’m not. Nobody wants to drive with me because they feel unsafe. I can’t even do my job’.

“It was one of the most heartbreaking moments I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. He was such a sweet guy, around my age, he couldn’t have been older than 25. The fact this young man is feeling victimized because of extremists is so sad.

“Nobody needs to feel this way. I couldn’t and still can’t believe I had to listen to this man’s words who just simply wanted to take me home and do his job.

“Of course the whole ride I told this man how I, as many other in this nation don’t view him that way. We are happy to have him here and will do anything to protect him.

“There are however people who don’t feel this way and it’s heartbreaking. A simple man doing his job felt under attack because of people who are claiming to be his religion but not because they are extremists.

“Please please please give your sympathy towards these people, they are not only victims of discrimination but also hate in times like this.

“Please stop generalising a society of people to an act of violence by extremists. These are not our enemies.

“These are our friends, neighbours and allies. They want to help fight against this viewpoint.

“Please, stop saying ‘Muslims’ are the problem because they are not and they are feeling victimised and scared today.

“These are our brothers and sisters as humankind, we are all humans underneath this skin.

“And they deserve nothing more than our respect and attention. They need our protection. Please stop viewing these beautiful humans as enemies because they are not.”

GRAPHIC WARNING: Paris attacks