Man defends Lyft driver after alleged harassment

Posted at 11:05 AM, May 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-06 14:05:44-04

A man who says his Lyft driver was berated for being Muslim has gone viral with his defense. Mark Lane says he ordered a Lyft ride and a driver named Badr picked him up.

"I asked him where he was from, and he said 'Lebanon,'" Lane said.

Lane was shocked when Badr asked him if he wanted to know if he was Muslim.

He said Badr told him his previous passenger had started insulting him, calling him names, and cursing at him and his family when he found out he was Muslim.

“His expectation was for me to behave the same way,” Lane said. “I apologized for that guy’s behavior. Just kind of made me feel ashamed that that's where we're at in 2017."

Lane asked why he didn't kick the man out, and Badr's answer surprised him.

“[He said] 'I wanted him to have a positive experience with a Muslim so I was polite to him, finished the ride, and said bye to him,'" Lane explained. 

Lane posted about the interaction on Facebook and has gotten thousands of likes, comments, and shares. Lane wrote: 

"I told him how impressive his behavior and attitude were, because I would have tossed him out. We talked about a lot of things. When I got out of the car he shook my hand and said thank you for not hating me. I told him, he was unhateable. His parents are both doctors, he's working on his masters in economics and his English and already has a management job with the Abu Dhabi oil company, yet he humbled himself before this racist bigot."

Lane believes he was meant to meet Badr and hopes their story can teach others about acceptance.

"We're all here on this big giant ball hurtling through space," Lane said. "There's no reason for everybody to hate."

A spokesperson for Lyft said:

"The discrimination experienced in the first ride is completely inappropriate and against our values as a company. We're thankful to Badr for being part of the Lyft community and the care shown by his second passenger, Mark. We ask anyone facing discrimination of any kind to report those incidents to our critical response line so they can be properly investigated.”