Australian folk musician Darren Hanlon has shared a moving story on his Facebook page about his ride home the night after the Paris terrorist attacks, and of his Muslim Uber driver who was moved to tears.
The musician wrote about how an Uber driver picked him up on Saturday night in Sydney. After some small talk, the driver turned the conversation to the terror attacks that killed 129 people in Paris.
According to Hanlon, it was as if he was waiting to dovetail the topic into conversation, the events of the day playing over in his mind.
"'I'm a Muslim,' he said almost as a confession, 'and this is not what I was taught as a child,'" Hanlon wrote.
The driver, who was from India, told Hanlon about how he had spent most of the day praying at his local mosque.
"These people say they act under the name of Islam," he said. "I've studied religion, theology. The etymology of the word Islam comes from a word that means Peace."
"He told me how one of his teachers had explained to him that people will angle teachings of the Koran to reflect their own needs. The finance banker will use certain lines to justify his actions, just as the jihadist will do the same," Hanlon wrote.
He says as they talked about how people have always exploited religion for their own purposes, the driver wiped tears from his eyes.
"'Doesn't the Koran have a basic law... like the Bible... that says Thou Shalt Not Kill?' I asked.
"'Of course!' he exclaimed, 'The second highest law says that if you kill a single soul it's like killing the soul of all humanity. If you save a single soul, you save all humanity.'"
Hanlon sat and talked to the man after they reached his destination, two strangers trying to wrap their heads around the horrific events on a rainy Saturday night.
By sharing the story, Hanlon says he isn't trying to make a political statement.
"I just want to tell you about my brief random conversation with a sad Muslim Sydney Uber driver, whose religion is being taken from him," he wrote.
Hanlon's post has been shared more than 4,000 times. You can read the whole thing here:
Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Alex Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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