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 New Zealand offer free rides to Muslims after Christchurch mosque attacks

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.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lays a wreath at the Kilbirnie Mosque on March 17, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. 50 people are confirmed dead and 36 are injured still in hospital following shooting attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, 15 March. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Getty Images)
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lays a wreath at the Kilbirnie Mosque on March 17, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. 50 people are confirmed dead and 36 are injured still in hospital following shooting attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, 15 March. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Getty Images)

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."



 

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.



 

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.



 

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.