An Uber driver from North Carolina has said that he was attacked by a passenger and threatened that he would be shot after the man said he believed he was a Muslim.
Samson Woldemichael, who came to the US eight years ago from Ethiopia and who said he is Christian, said he picked up the passenger early on Sunday morning from a bar in Charlotte and was asked to drive to the man’s home, ten miles away.
Mr Woldemichael told WBTV-TV that as he drove to the man’s house, the passenger become aggressive and hit him while he drove. When he arrived that the property, he threatened to shoot Mr Woldemichael in the face and strangle him. He also used anti-Muslim slurs and profanity at the driver.
“He asked me if I was a Muslim, and I said I was not a Muslim,” said Mr Woldemichael. “I was driving and he hit me while I was driving.” He added: “I told him in the first place I was not a Muslim, but it’s not right to generalize people and do that,” he said.
The driver said he was afraid to park, so he drove around the block until the passenger struck him hard in the forehead, nearly knocking him out, and the man continued hitting him in the head.
“He was saying he would shoot me and he was acting like he’s hiding his hand in his back, so he was acting like he was armed,” said Mr Woldemichael, who drove away at that point and called the police. “There are people who are not originally from here but who are really Americans in their hearts,” he said. “They love the system. They love the country and they want to protect the system here.”
People who hire Uber drivers have to pay up front with their credit cards, and give their information. Mr Woldemichael is hoping police will be able to track the passenger.
The incident comes amid a spate of attacks on Muslims and mosques. Campaigners say the terror attacks in Paris have left Muslims, and others, feeling more vulnerable.
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