Differences put aside as Sikh taxi drivers provide free rides, help for Muslim families rocked by terror attack

Sikhs and Muslims have had a long history of conflict in their homelands, but their differences have been put aside in Christchurch, where Sikhs have been providing food, accommodation and transport for Muslim families in need after the mosques terror attack.

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With so many people flooding into Christchurch taxi drivers are in high demand. Source: Seven Sharp

With so many people flooding into Christchurch, taxi drivers have been in high demand.

But rather than profiting, a group of Sikh drivers has stepped up, offering free rides to travellers in need of an act of kindness.

Taxi driver Manjinder Singh and his colleagues made a snap decision on Friday afternoon to help those in need get home to their families.

"We were talking to each other and there was one thought whether we should finish because the police, there was continuous warnings coming out," Mr Singh told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

"We decided that we will offer them the free rides, whosoever is in stress, whosoever needs.

"It was just a natural an human reaction for us because we know the police guys were working hard, the hospital emergency were working hard. And as we are in the transport and service industry so we thought why not, we can contribute," he said.

The drivers wanted to push back against the gunman's hatred.

"If we have to encounter that negativity and hatred there is only one single solution -  spread the love, spread the positivity. That's the only thing to counter that negativity and hatred," Mr Singh said.

"We thought we should be there helping them, we should be there as Kiwis, we should be there as humans."

The Sikhs are also raising money for plane tickets to get families of the victims over to New Zealand.

"How the Kiwis, how we all together come with the flowers, with the messages, haka, how we hug each other, 'We love you, you are with us, you are a part of society'. That was a beautiful thing and you can see it's still spreading out," Mr Singh said.

"If we carry on in the future we are going to be an example for the world."

The kindness being shown in Christchurch is a far cry from the bloodshed between Sikhs and Muslims during the partition of India in 1947,  allegations that some Sikhs have been forced to convert to Islam in the UK, and Taliban attacks on Sikhs in 2010.