When Alex Malloy caught a taxi in Manhattan just after 11 p.m. on Friday, he did not expect anything out of the ordinary.
After he stepped inside, the driver immediately told, Thank you. Malloy, 23, told The Huffington Post he wasn’t sure what to make of it at the time, but would later write that the conversation that followed was one of the most heartbreaking moments Ive ever experienced in my whole life.
The driver, approximately the same age as Malloy, explained that he was thanking him for being his first customer in two hours. The man suspected it was because people were suspicious of his Muslim faith in the wake of the Paris attacks.
Malloy sympathized with the driver and conveyed his support over the course of the 25 -minute ride from Columbus Circle to Washington Heights. Malloy was so moved, he told HuffPost, he forgot to ask for the driver’s name.
He cried the whole way to my apartment and it built me weep, too, Malloy wrote. He kept telling, Allah, my God, does not believe in this! People believe Im a part of this and Im not. Nobody wants to drive with me because they feel unsafe. I cant even do my job.
Malloy took the opportunity to speak out against the individuals who use the actions of extremists to generalize about Muslims.
Please stop saying Muslims are the problem because they are not and they are feeling more victimized and scared to the day, Malloy wrote. These are our brothers and sisters as humankind, we are all humans underneath this scalp. And they deserve nothing more than our respect and attention. They require our protection. Please stop viewing these beautiful human beings as foes because they are not.
Malloy went to bed shortly thereafter, pleased to see the message had already been retweeted 25 periods. He wanted the narrative to reach as many people as is practicable.
But he was completely unprepared for the avalanche of retweets and responds he received where reference is woke. He normally tweets about celebrity news and workplace jokes.
As of 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, the tweet with Malloy’s cab ride story had been retweeted nearly 30,000 times.
The responds were so touching and so sincere, Malloy told HuffPost. It wasnt simply the Muslim community replying, but everybody replying. Especially at a time like this, in our country and in our world … to ensure people come together over something I had written and saying, This is so important — it constructed me cry.
Malloy also received a smaller number of negative responds, including people who said they would not have gotten in the taxi. He’s choosing to block those messages.
That put such a sick feeling in my stomach because youre disregarding another human being, he said. It was sad and I didnt want to see it.
Malloy moved to New York City four years ago from St. Petersburg, Florida. He manages a hair salon on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
He grew up in a Christian home and attended a private Protestant elementary school, but he doesn’t identify with a particular religion.
I do believe in a higher power, Malloy explained. I go by my own moral values as a human living amongst other humans.
Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com