Sikh taxi drivers in New Zealand offer free rides to Muslims after Christchurch mosque attacks
Manjinder Singh, one of the drivers, said that it was a "collective selfless service effort by the Sikh community in a difficult time when everyone was contributing more than us."
Sikh taxi drivers in Christchurch have been offering free rides to Muslims and anyone else in need after the deadly mosque attack in the city, according to reports.
The Christchurch mosque shootings on Friday last week left 50 people dead and dozens others injured. The attacker was identified as Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white supremacist, who is currently in police custody.
One such taxi driver, who helped transport people across the city after the tragic incident, is Blue Star Taxi driver Manjinder Singh.
With taxi drivers in high demand at this time, Sikhs like Singh have put their differences aside with Muslims, with whom the community has a long history of conflict in their homelands, according to the Daily Mail. Bloody conflicts between Sikhs and Muslims occurred during the partition of India in 1947.
Singh, while talking to TVNZ, said: "We decided we will offer them free rides. Whoever is in stress. Whoever needs." When asked if he saw the act as an obligation, Singh replied with: "I would say, it's a privilege because I never felt it was an obligation. It was just a human and natural reaction."
Sikh taxi drivers are giving free rides to Muslim families affected by the New Zealand terror attack. ❤️https://t.co/vlLBFJTi6d— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) March 19, 2019
While a spokesperson from Christchurch Blue Star Taxis told Daily Mail Australia that the firm has also donated vouchers for free taxi rides, particularly to the members of the Muslim community after the attack.
"We have also transported relatives of victims for funeral services for free yesterday and today. Overall, the response has been great and people are really happy," the spokesperson said.
The New Zealand Sikh Community's response to the Christchurch massacre is moving me to tears. pic.twitter.com/Y59HQYAanP— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) March 15, 2019
Singh, while talking to the outlet, said that it was a "collective selfless service effort by the Sikh community in a difficult time when everyone was contributing more than us."
The taxi driver also added that he had noticed how hard police officials and hospital workers had worked throughout the week, and felt that he needed to contribute in his own way too.
"We are in the transport servicing industry. We thought why can we not contribute?" he said, adding that "terrorism doesn't have a religion."
"The victims are humans, they aren't Muslims, Sikh or anyone [else]," Singh said. He also took to Facebook to say that the Sikh community was just putting their religious teachings into practice.
Sikhs In New Zealand Are Helping Shooting Victims By Transporting Bodies, Providing Free Langars https://t.co/DhZdlWslLe— iamrealFBI (@FBIComm) March 21, 2019
The community has also provided food for the needy at this time and are also raising money for plane tickets to help bring the family members of victims to New Zealand. "Recognise all human race as one. Serving God is serving humanity and serving humanity is serving God," Singh wrote online.