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NYC's Muslim Cabbies Can Now Nix Racy Ads From Top of Cars

A clash of cash versus culture.

A group of New York City Muslim cab drivers won the right in court yesterday to veto advertisements displayed on their vehicles for strip clubs.

The New York Post reported on the cabbies' victory today, which means devout Muslims won't have to parade around images of scantily clad women everywhere they drive anymore.

The case put in front of the Taxi and Limousine Commission wasn't as obvious as it might seem at first. There are two property holders involved in a taxi.

Cab drivers in New York often own the actual vehicles they drive, but the medallion-- the badge attached to the hood that legally gives the right to transport passengers for cash-- is generally owned by someone other than the driver, oftentimes a large company.

Generally, the medallion owners wanted the most ad cash they could get. The drivers didn't want to be traveling billboards for gentlemen's clubs.

To say the disparity led to conflicts over cultural norms would be an understatement. In one particularly embarrassing incident cited by the Post, a Muslim cab driver told the Taxi Commission that his 6-year-old granddaughter once told him she wanted to be a “dancer” because she saw the strip club ad atop his taxi.

But now, the driver gets to make the final call.

As long as the wheelman owns the taxi, his or her sense of propriety will be the last word on the rooftop banner ads.

One last thing…
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