Germany: Muslim car-pool service
Via TAZ (German, h/t Snaphanen)
Selim Reid (24) is the founder of MuslimTAXI, a Muslim ride-sharing service. The service is free, and is ad-supported. He says he thought of the idea because of complaints he heard that regular carpools don't implement gender discrimination.
Reid immigrated from Iraq to Germany with his parents in 1996. He studied automotive and aircraft technology in Hamburg. He says he once organized a ride for his parents from Hamburg to Berlin, but when he brought his parents to the meeting point, it was clear that the driver did not like foreigners. The driver assumed the parents couldn't understand German and since they couldn't get off in the middle of nowhere, they had to listen to his rants the whole way.
Reid says his service is no different from how some Christian communities organize to help their members. He says non-Muslims are also invited to join.
His site allows people to choose the gender of the driver and passengers. He says until now it was difficult for Muslim women to use regular carpool services unaccompanied. He also says he's heard of many affairs that started in such cars and that destroyed marriages.
He says the best thing about it is that it encourages Dawa. Since the Muslims who meet on his rides have only one thing in common - Islam. And this way other faiths get introduced to Islam. He goes on to say that Islam unites all religions and that there is only one true God.
Asked whether gender segregation isn't a thing of the past, Reid answered that more and more people are converting to Islam, many of them women, and they adopt the headscarf of their own free will. Islam is unchanging and its principles are lasting, and so women will want to keep the headscarf even 1000 years from now. Islam is the true religion and since God is flawless, so is the religion he gave.
Reid says he already got 2,000 sign-ups, as well as thank-you calls and emails. He was also criticized, but he says that doesn't mean he's wrong.