Va. passenger charged with assault on Muslim cab driver - KMSP-TV

Va. passenger charged with assault on Muslim cab driver

Posted: Updated:
Mohamed Salim Mohamed Salim
Edward Dahlberg Edward Dahlberg

A local cab driver says he was assaulted and insulted by a passenger he picked up in Fairfax County.

Mohamed Salim says he was taking the man home from a country club when it all started.

Salim recorded the incident on his cell phone and shows him and local businessman Edward Dahlberg talking and then arguing.

The video is dark and filled with profanities.

On the recording, which was released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), you can hear Dahlberg and Salim first talking about Islam before Dahlberg explodes in a profanity-laced argument when the two begin discussing the meaning of Jihad.

Dahlberg is already facing assault charges. Now some are asking the Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney to file hate crime charges in the case.

Salim is a naturalized American citizen from Somalia who served a tour of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Army. He is married with four children and is currently a sergeant in the Army Reserve.

In the early morning hours of April 26, Salim says he picked up Dahlberg at the Fairfax Country Club and headed for his home in Clifton.

Dahlberg had been drinking and Salim says he asked him to pour out his beer before getting into the cab.

The video is dark when you hear Salim respond to Dahlberg by saying, "Now you asked me a question and now you are putting a word in my mouth and now you are judging me.”

Dahlberg responded, “I am judging you.”

The exchange soon gets heated with Salim saying, "So I am a radical?”

Dahlberg: “If you are a Muslim, you are a (expletive) Jihadist.”

Salim: “If I am a Muslim, I am a jihads?”

Dahlberg: “Hell yes."

As Salim turns the camera around and says he will call the police, it appears Dahlberg strikes him, knocking the camera down.

At a news conference Wednesday, Salim talked about how the incident made him feel.

"What happened to me is really, really sad, and I am frustrated. I have fought the terrorists and I don't deserve this,” he said.

Dahlberg would not go on camera, but his attorney released a statement which reads in part, “Mr. Dahlberg's comments to Mr. Salim were regretful, and he apologizes to anyone who found them offensive ... Unfortunately, it got emotional as the discussion turned to Jihad and 9/11, and ... Mr. Dahlberg regrets becoming emotional.”

“Mr. Dahlberg asserts there was no subsequent interaction between the two beyond what was captured on the tape. Further, Mr. Dahlberg did not assault Mr. Salim at any time, nor did he get violent in any way.”

"He thinks only he is American and we are nothing,” said Salim. “I am American too and I sacrificed my life for my country. I don't deserve this as a Muslim.”

Dahlberg is due in court to face the assault charge on May 24.

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