Muslim cabbie who says passenger attacked him gets $350K

2015-12-08 19:53


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Sydney siege: Australians use Twitter to counter Islamophobia

2014-12-15 12:38

As the Sydney hostage drama entered its 11th hour, Australians took to social media to express solidarity with Muslim Australians who have faced abuse and intimidation in the country. WATCH: WATCH

Alexandria - A Muslim cab driver who said a passenger berated and physically attacked him over his religion was awarded $350 000 in damages by a federal civil jury.

The jury in Alexandria, Virginia, found Monday that Ed Dahlberg assaulted Mohamed Salim in 2013 and that Dahlberg's actions were motivated by animosity toward the cabbie's religion. They awarded Salim $100 000 in compensatory damages and $250 000 in punitive damages.

Salim says he was punched by Dahlberg after Dahlberg spewed a stream of epithets at Salim because of his religion. Salim recorded parts of the encounter on his phone.

Salim sued Dahlberg in civil court in US District Court in Alexandria after Fairfax County prosecutors declined to bring criminal charges against Dahlberg.

Dahlberg admits using bad language but denies injuring Salim. Dahlberg told The Washington Post in a phone call, "I'm ruined. I'm absolutely ruined."

The key piece of evidence was an 11-minute smartphone recording of the conversation between Salim and Dahlberg. The conversation began as a friendly one, but took a turn when Dahlberg asked Salim about jihad. Dahlberg, who acknowledged he was drunk, became enraged when he felt Salim was unwilling to denounce the September 11 hijackers, and Dahlberg unleashed a stream of expletives about Salim and the Muslim faith.

The recording was not definitive in terms of confirming Salim's allegation that Dahlberg punched him multiple times, causing a hairline jaw fracture.

Dahlberg's lawyers questioned Salim's truthfulness, saying he lied about being a veteran of the Iraq War when he talked to reporters about the incident, as well as in a court deposition.

Defence lawyer Steven Bancroft said Dahlberg is apologetic about his language on the recording, but "there is much more to this case than that tape". 

Salim's lawyer, Victor Glasberg, told jurors at the outset of the trial that Salim is a refugee from Islamic extremism in his home country of Somalia who served in the US Army reserves, albeit not in Iraq as he claimed. He said the recording speaks for itself and included "astonishing and horrific" verbal abuse.

"We're here because he was punched in the face, cursed and abused as a Muslim," Glasberg said.

Read more on:    us  |  religion

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.