In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Aussie muso Darren Hanlon has shared the touching story of a chat he recently had with a Muslim Uber driver “whose religion is being taken from him”.
Taking to Facebook over the weekend, Hanlon recounted the tale of how an Uber driver in Sydney quickly turned their small-talk into a more serious discussion.
Hanlon says the driver, out of the blue, said, “I can’t understand these who go around killing other people in cold blood… I’m a Muslim and this is not what I was taught as a child.”
“It felt like he needed to talk,” Hanlon says. “He said he was praying at a mosque in Zetland when he got my ride request. He’d been praying for most of the day.
“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… I looked over to see him wipe tears from his eyes.”
Hanlon says he and the driver sat in the car and continued talking after they reached his destination. “He quoted Koran verses often brandished by fundamentalists, robbed of their ancient historical context,” he says. “We mourned the victims in Paris.”
Hanlon says the driver said that love is “the only defence”, before they went their separate ways. “My mind kept returning to it for the rest of the night,” Hanlon says.
Since posting the story, which can be read in full below, Hanlon has seen the post gather almost 32,000 likes and almost 8000 shares. That said, not all of the comments on the post have been positive.
Talking with ABC North Coast, Hanlon says, “It brought tears to my eyes to see how it had resonated with people, but some people thought the story wasn’t true because I said the word ‘meter’ and Ubers don’t have an actual device that sits on the dashboard.
“So I got lots of hate mail to say I made it up to promote my music, which was quite hurtful. If anyone knows me they know I try to avoid as much promotion as I can.”
Catch Hanlon’s moving story in full, below.