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Muslim Cabdriver, an Army Reservist and Iraqi veteran,assaulted for being Muslim

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Watch the video here: Exclusive cell phone video of alleged cab assault

Muslim cabdriver alleges assault by passenger who cited Boston Marathon bombing

By  and Published: April 30

An Army reservist and Iraq veteran who works as a cabdriver says a passenger he picked up early Friday at a Northern Virginia country club accused him of being a terrorist because he is Muslim, then fractured his jaw in an attack being described by Islamic activists as a hate crime.Mohamed A. Salim says the passenger compared him to the men accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing 11 days earlier and threatened to kill him.“Because I’m a Muslim, he treated me like a piece of trash,” Salim said. “I love this country. I didn’t deserve this.”

Ed Dahlberg of Clifton, who has been charged with misdemeanor assault, denied hitting Salim in a statement released by his attorney.

Muslim rights workers said Salim’s account is supported by medical records and an 11-minute, obscenity-filled video of Dahlberg’s remarks leading up to the alleged assault. Salim, a 39-year-old from Great Falls, provided The Washington Post with a copy, which his attorney described as evidence of the prejudice that others sometimes face but rarely document.

The video, which Salim took on his phone, appears to show physical contact between the men but does not capture the alleged punch that Salim said fractured his jaw, the Boston bombing reference or the threat to kill. Salim said that those happened after he stopped recording so he could call the police.

On the video, a middle-aged businessman can be heard asking Salim if he is Islamic and then asserting that most Muslims are terrorists. He says the Koran directs Muslims to kill nonbelievers and then repeatedly and loudly demands that Salim denounce the Sept. 11, 2001, attackers. When Salim asks if the passenger is threatening him, the passenger uses an obscene phrase to respond in the affirmative.

“If you’re a Muslim, you’re a [expletive] jihadist,” the passenger says. “You are just as bad as the rest of them.”

The video ends with a blur of motion and audio of Salim asking, “Why are you punching me? Sir, why are you punching me?”

The passenger replies: “You’re a [expletive] Muslim.”

The insult is followed by the sound of a car door slamming. In an interview, Salim said Dahlberg left briefly but returned, struck him and ran into the woods.

Dahlberg’s attorney, Demetry Pikrallidas, said Dahlberg did not assault Salim. Even so, he said, Dahlberg wanted to apologize to anyone offended by his remarks. Dahlberg was profoundly affected by the Sept. 11 attacks, Pikrallidas said, and misunderstood Salim’s response to his questions.

Dahlberg “became rather emotional as the discussion turned to jihad and 9/11, and especially heated on the subject of jihadists who want to harm America,” Pikrallidas said in a statement.

Pikrallidas described Dahlberg as a “hardworking family man and a church-going person” who had been drinking but was not intoxicated. He stressed that Salim’s video shows the ride began with six minutes of friendly conversation.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations on Monday asked Fairfax County prosecutors to designate the attack a hate crime. “The prosecutor has a clear opportunity to send a message that anti-Muslim crime will not be tolerated, ” said Gadeir Abbas, an attorney for CAIR.

Fairfax prosecutors said they will review the video to determine whether to prosecute the case as a hate crime, which would elevate the charge to a felony. Prosecutors would have to show that Dahlberg attacked Salim because of his religion, race or national origin.

CAIR said it has documented two suspected hate crimes elsewhere since the Boston bombing. Hours after the April 15 explosions, a Bangladeshi man reportedly suffered a dislocated shoulder when beaten at a New York City restaurant. In Malden, Mass., a woman wearing an Islamic head scarf allegedly was assaulted April 17 by a man shouting anti-Muslim slurs.

On the video, Dahlberg describes himself as the owner of a local brokerage that sells large business jets internationally.

Salim said he has had a headache since the incident, has lost hearing in one ear and has blurred vision. Medical records provided by Salim show that he was treated for a fractured jaw and a head injury.

Salim, a married father of four who emigrated from Somalia 15 years ago, said the incident was particularly painful because he is a naturalized U.S. citizen and an Army Reserve sergeant who served in Baghdad and the U.S. military facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He has worked in intelligence and as a linguist, he said.

“I’m real angry,” he said. “I served my country. I fought. I sacrificed.”

Salim said he was dispatched to the Country Club of Fairfax about 2 a.m. Friday to pick up Dahlberg. When he arrived, he said he told Dahlberg he could not enter the cab with an open beer, so Dahlberg finished it.

Dahlberg then began complaining about the time that had expired on the taxi’s meter, Salim said. As a precaution, Salim said, he started the video recorder on his phone. For most of the ride, it recorded audio but the camera was obscured.

Dahlberg can be heard asking where Salim is from and whether he’s Muslim. Then Dahlberg demands to know Salim’s view of jihad and the 9/11 terrorists, growing progressively louder.

“If you’re a Muslim, you are [expletive] on that same page” as the Sept. 11 terrorists, Dahlberg says at one point. “Denounce those [expletives] that flew jets into the World Trade Center. . . . Tell me that they are pieces of [expletive], or you are with them. . . .

“If you’re a [expletive] Muslim flying jets into the World Trade Center, then [expletive] you, I will slice your [expletive] throat right now.”

Salim tries to calm the situation by saying, “Okay, just peace, and sit, please. Cut off. Cut off.”

Then, about 10 minutes into the ride, Salim aims the phone over his shoulder, informs Dahlberg that he is being recorded and says he is calling the police. The camera shakes, and there are sounds of an apparent scuffle.

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  • Seeker

    Wow ! So you could get brainwashed just by reading the Quran ? That must be one powerful book !

    Or maybe your brain is too weak eh ? Figures. From the childish comments you’re posting in here. (“Get lost” ????)

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    he maybe revealed his true identity …… Pam MacBeth Geller !
    Although maybe he deleted his own posts when he/she realised how stupid he looked
    Sir David

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    You are looking for logic among the paranoid and delusional ? Best of luck mate.
    I will let you in to a secret since there is just you and me here .
    Its called FUD its a way of managing people. FUD stands for fear ,uncertanty and doubt. First of all you create fear of the unknown for example Muslims or jews or catholics or communists or witches ,this makes people uncertain you reveal there doubts and offer a solution . The solution is usually support me and my methods ,
    Its a tried and tested method and its not difficult to see current and historical examples.
    Sir David

  • Christian-Friend

    What would troy said that would make the moderator delete his answers to my posts?

  • Christian-Friend

    obvious troll is obvious.

  • Christian-Friend

    I just want to understand the logic behind such statement.

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    You should read the Quran because it would reveal to you how much an idiot your statements are making you look like .
    I have read the Quran and it did not make me a muslim . Do you think I should read it again ? Maybe backwards 🙂 would that work ?
    Sir David

  • Leftwing_Muslim_Alliance

    Anwser to Christian Friend -They are ? er when did this start ? Why wasnt I told ?
    Incidently Troy since you believe that reading the Quran will turn you into a muslim , your current beliefs cannot be that strong or deep
    Sir David

  • Dr: I think Troy is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

    Perhaps a prescription for haloperidol is in order.

  • If your opinions are so flimsy that you can be brainwashed simply by reading the text you’re criticizing, perhaps it might do you well to reconsider your positions, no?

  • Sam Seed

    “You apparently are afraid that you will change your views if you read the Qur’an at your own time and place”…pricele$$!

  • Just_Stopping_By

    Troy on reading the Qur’an: “No thanks I do not need to be brainwashed.”

    Most people can be brainwashed only under highly controlled conditions, such as through torture, food and/or sleep deprivation, a system of rewards and punishments for “correct” and “incorrect” responses, massive peer pressure, etc.

    You apparently are afraid that you will change your views if you read the Qur’an at your own time and place, with access to the Internet and other people to research topics you read about, not to mention the ability to walk away at any point. That is hardly the set-up that leads to brainwashing. In fact, if you change your views in that setting, it would represent what most of us call either learning something or encountering a convincing argument.

    So, do you fear that your own mental faculties are so weak that you can be brainwashed by reading a book that you can put down at any point? Or do you fear that the Qur’an is highly persuasive and/or not what you think it is without reading it? Or perhaps all of the above?

  • Stoned Gremlin

    Josh, is that you?

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