An Uber driver in North Carolina, U.S. has described how he was attacked and threatened by a passenger who believed him to be a Muslim.
In the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, Muslims have said they feel more vulnerable than ever, with a number of reported attacks made against Muslims in recent days.
Samson Woldemichael, who came to the U.S. eight years ago from Ethiopia, was the latest victim, despite the fact he describes himself as a Christian.
Speaking to WBTV-TV, Samson described how 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. As he did so, however, the passenger became aggressive and hit Samson as he drove.
When they arrived at the house, the passenger actually threatened to shoot Samson in the face and strangle him. He also used Islamophobic slurs and swore at the driver, before hitting him so hard he nearly knocked him out.
Describing the terrifying incident to WBTV-TV, Samson said:
He asked me if I was a Muslim, and I said I was not a Muslim. I was driving and he hit me while I was driving. I told him in the first place I was not a Muslim, but it’s not right to generalize people and do that.
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. He said he’s gonna shoot me right in the face. He’s gonna strangle me. I asked him why. He was calling me too many bad word names, insulting me. He told me I was a Muslim.
Samson was eventually able to drive away and call 911.
As Uber customers are required to pay up front with a credit or debit card and provide their personal information on the app, Samson hopes police will be able to track down his attacker.