Several passengers of the Apple Central Taxi service in the UK allege they were told by the company’s Muslim drivers to remove their red poppy pins, which is a symbol of support for British troops.
Word of the Muslim cabbies disrespect for the British Remembrance Day symbol quickly spread online and led to some of Apple’s cars being smashed along with verbal abuse of their staff, the Weston Mercury reported.
The taxi firm’s owner, Iftikhar Ul-Haq, denies the customer’s claims saying, “I am Muslim and I have never seen anyone say ‘I don’t want to wear a poppy.’” Ul-Haq then said he would fire any employee that made such a request on a fare-paying passenger. “I wouldn’t even let them come into the office,” he added.
However, the Mercury reported that both incidents of poppy removal took place in October, one on the 26th and the other on the 30th. This information was provided to them from the customers themselves, who were allegedly subject to the disrespect. One of the customers described the driver’s stance as ‘disgusting,’ according to the British news outlet.
For Apple Taxi’s part, the service’s general manager, Steve Tedd, insisted the company does not have an anti-poppy policy, but said those with such claims are welcome to come forward and provide a specific time and date of the incident(s). With this information, Tedd said they would be able to validate or dispel the rumors.
The allegations – which led to Weston’s English Defense League branch calling for a boycott of Apple taxis – have provoked multiple revenge attacks.
“A couple of drivers have had car windows smashed,” Tedd said.
“We also had a soldier on Saturday afternoon walk into our office, having heard the rumors and was angry, and wanted to talk it out with our telephonist,” Tedd added. “The allegations have had a bad effect on my staff and drivers.”
At this point, the concern seems to be more on the revenge attacks than for the wildfire of rumors. Officers in the area have even offered to provide extra assistance for Apple, making any calls the company makes for help a priority over the others.
The U.K. has a growing Muslim population, which has likely placed many Europeans on high alert, raising tensions from feeling as though Islam has taken over their towns.
Courtesy of Mad World News