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The taxi jihadist


I took a taxi for the first time in a long time. There seems to be a rule that only Africans or Middle Easterners can be taxi drivers. Perhaps it’s because they don’t fear death. Certainly they’re not afraid of breaking land speed records.

The taxi driver was a 20-something, long-bearded Pakistani. His cab was clean and new, a corporate cab. He had an iPhone suction-cupped to the windshield where he could see it. On it, a bearded white-clad imam was ranting in Arabic.

The driver saw me looking at the video. Wordlessly he shut it off, pulled the phone off the windshield and put it away.

We drove in utter silence for 30 kilometers. It was a quick trip, because he was driving well over 110 kph.

We got to our destination. I paid him. He drove away without a word.

I got the feeling that in another place, in the current time, he would have killed me without a qualm. I’m glad we were here, and not in that place.

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