Laura Loomer is no stranger to controversy.
The far-right activist, who works for the website The Rebel Media, has been aggressively tweeting since the recent New York terror attack on Tuesday. Now she’s also taking aim at public transport service Uber, but Uber is fighting back.
Ride sharing services Uber and Lyft both bore the brunt of Loomer’s twitter tirade when she demanded the creation of a “non-Islamic” ride sharing app.
Loomer claims that Tuesday’s attack, which involved a former Uber driver plowing a pickup truck into pedestrians on a bike path, killing eight, prompted the idea. While many New Yorkers showed resilience and an outpouring of love toward their city and those who lost their lives, Loomer was most concerned with finding a cab. Loomer tweeted: ”Someone needs to create a non-Islamic form of Uber or Lyft because I never want to support another Islamic immigrant driver.” “I’m late to the NYPD press conference because I couldn’t find a non-Muslim cab or @Uber @Lyft driver for over 30 min!” Her offensive and Islamaphobic tweets only continues, further shocking Twitter users: However, many people were quick to jump to the defence of Uber, immigrants and Islam, and shamed Loomer for her outrageous remarks: They certainly didn’t hold back, and many wee quick to label the far-right activist as a “racist”. (Many will argue that a prejudice towards a religious group is technically not “racist” – but how can you tell somebody’s religion just from looking at them? It’s fairly safe to assume these judgements were made off appearance.) Some users even pointed out the ignorance of Loomer probably failing to even distinguish between religious groups: Uber responded by banning Loomer from using their service. They claim she has been in violation of community guidelines but do not wish to issue a statement at this moment. A spokesperson for Lyft has confirmed they they, too, have deactivated Loomer’s account. While Uber has confirmed that Sayfullo Saipov, the man suspected of driving the pickup truck involved in Tuesday’s attack, did work for them, he had passed all necessary background checks to work for the company. He had made over 1400 journeys while working for Uber without prior cause for concern. Uber has said that they are in contact with the FBI about Saipov and are helping in the investigation any way they can. Matt King, Uber spokesperson, said the following:
“We are horrified by this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the victims and their families. We have reached out to law enforcement to provide our full assistance.”
Uber has previously banned far-right activist, Tim Gionet, from their service after a driver kicked him out of her car for spewing racially-charged comments. Loomer, who has over 100,000 Twitter followers, hit back on the social media site, tweeting: “Uber will literally hire an Islamic terrorist, but they will ban a conservative journalist for addressing legitimate safety concerns.” Loomer previously took aim at The Public Theatre, who perform Shakespeare’s plays in New York City’s Central Park. Earlier this year, she interrupted a performance of Julius Caesar, claiming that the company’s portrayal of Caesar and his wife resembled Donald Trump and Melania.
She had to be escorted off the stage by security while she shouted: “Stop the normalisation of political violence against the right! This is unacceptable!” I think the most important thing Loomer is forgetting here is that the devastating attack that occurred in New York this past week (and those that have occurred around the world all too frequently), is NOT an act of Islam. It was an act of terrorism and aggression that does not replicate the beliefs of good-natured Muslim people across the globe. Sayfullo Saipov was not a Muslim. He was a lone wolf attacker who snapped and decided to attack innocent people in the name of a twisted and corrupted terrorist group who desecrate the Islam faith. We must remember that many good, innocent Muslims are killed every day by these terrorists – and we must not allow their actions cause divide in our societies. In the meantime, it turns out Loomer won’t have to worry about Muslim Uber drivers any more because she won’t ever be able to take an Uber again, thanks to her racist Twitter ranting. I’m willing to bet no other ride sharing service would be willing to take her either. Looks like she’s going to be late for work a lot more often.
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