Muslim Cab Driver Neck Slashed – NY


Muslim cab driver Ahmed Sharif, victim in bloody attack, saw ‘so much hate’ in face of assailant

BY Edgar Sandoval, John Lauinger and Bill Hutchinson


Thursday, August 26th 2010, 4:00 AM

A Queens cabbie said Wednesday night he saw "so much hate" in the face of a boozed-up bigot who slashed him after asking if he was Muslim.

Driver Ahmed Sharif said he pleaded for his life as knife-wielding suspect Michael Enright launched a bloody attack Tuesday after hailing the yellow cab in Kips Bay.

Sharif said the blond-haired Enright told him, "As-salaam alaikum" – which means "peace be unto you" in Arabic – before committing the crazed assault.

"I begged him, ‘Please don’t kill me,’" Sharif, 43, told the Daily News. "I was thinking about my four kids. If I’m gone, there is no one to care for them.".

Enright, 21, a film student from upstate Brewster, was arraigned yesterday on charges of attempted murder and assault, both as hate crimes. He was ordered held without bail pending another hearing Monday.

Enright, a senior at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, returned from Afghanistan in May after 35 days of filming a documentary about front-line troops.

When he was arrested Tuesday in midtown, Enright had a personal diary filled with pages of "pretty strong anti-Muslim comments," a police source said.

The source said Enright’s journal equated Muslims with "killers, ungrateful for the help they were being offered, filthy murderers without a conscience."

Sharif, who was born in Bangladesh and has lived in America for 25 years, said the ordeal began shortly after he picked up Enright about 6p.m. Tuesday on 24th St. at Second Ave.

He said Enright questioned him about his background, asking, "Are you Muslim?"

Sharif said the passenger grew silent and then began verbally bashing the Muslim religion and cursing, then yelling, "This is the checkpoint," an apparent reference to military security screenings in the Afghanistan war zone.

Suddenly, Enright thrust the silver blade of a multigadget Leatherman folding knife through the open window of the cab’s plexiglass partition and began slashing, Sharif said.

"I saw so much anger on his face, so much hate," said Sharif, who had to have 15 stitches to close a 6-inch gash to his throat and another 17 stitches to mend a cut on his arm. He was also stabbed in the cheek.

"He’s telling me … he wants to cut my throat," Sharif said.

With one hand on the wheel and using the other to fend off the madman, Sharif drove to 42nd St. and Third Ave., where he jumped out of the cab and flagged down a cop.

"Somebody help me! He almost killed me! Stop him, please!" the cabbie yelled, pointing to Enright, who was nabbed as he fell in the street trying to run from the taxi.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/26/2010-08-26_untitled__2cab26m.html#ixzz0xj5lqfBZ

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