Racist abuse against taxi driver caught on tape

By Kathryn Powley

Do you know the passenger? Email newsdesk@nzherald.co.nz.

A Pakistan-born taxi driver was subjected to a torrent of foul-mouthed racist abuse - and it's all been caught on camera.

Former Auckland man Tariq Humayun was told to "f*** off back to where you come from" by a man he picked up in central Invercargill about 12.30am on Friday.

Humayun remains calm and polite throughout but ends the trip early. However, the man refuses to pay the fare.

"I'll pay you your $7 when you tell me that you'll piss off back to the country where you come from." He continued: "You shouldn't be in New Zealand in the first place ... We don't require your Muslim bullshit in this country."

Yesterday, Humayun said he felt that his human rights had been violated.

"I'm feeling very disheartened and upset. It was a bit shocking. I came here for a better future."

The passenger.
The passenger.

A New Zealand citizen who came from Peshawar, Pakistan, in 2002 he worked in IT, security and driving taxis despite having a masters degree in economics. He settled in Auckland but two years ago moved to Invercargill with his wife, daughter, 7, and son, 5, thinking it would be safer.

He now worries that his children will also suffer such abuse.

Racism wasn't restricted to Invercargill, he added. In Auckland he'd been robbed by three passengers.

"There are a lot of good people, but there are some nasty people who abuse me because I'm from some other country."

John Hart of the Taxi Federation said regrettably such abuse was not uncommon for drivers.

"They put up with quite a lot. But in the end there's not an awful lot you can do about it."

Federation of Islamic Associations president Dr Anwar Ghani said such abuse was not common and was unfortunate.

Humayun had been taking part in the Ramadan, when Muslims observe a month of fasting to show patience to others.

- Herald on Sunday

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