Monday, February 8, 2010

Islam on the Buses

The timesonline reports that passengers aboard a London bus were startled when their driver suddenly locked the doors and took time out from his professional duties to tend to his religious ones:
The driver pulled over without warning and rolled out a high-visibility jacket as a makeshift prayer mat before removing his shoes, turning to face Mecca and starting to chant in Arabic.

Passengers said they looked on in stunned silence, fearing the driver may be preparing for a terrorist attack on the bus. No one was able to get on or off the vehicle during the five-minute prayer session.

Gayle Griffiths, 33, complained to Transport for London (TfL) about the incident on the number 24 bus in Gospel Oak, north London, last week.

The mother-of-one from Camden, north west London, who had boarded the bus minutes earlier on her way home from work, said: “Everyone was looking round in a mix of shock and amazement.

“When he had finished, he just got back up and set off again – all without any explanation or apology. It was truly bizarre, ludicrous and aggravating.”

“We are delayed often enough as it is in London. We live in a multicultural society but there is a time and a place for prayer and the middle of a journey with a busload of passengers is not it.”

The NHS administrator added: “It even went through my mind that this might be some sort of terrorist attack with the bus blown up because I had heard that suicide bombers prayed before attacks.”

TfL has apologised to all the passengers for the delay to their journey and the driver has been reprimanded...
We'll see if in coming days it doesn't get turned around, and the NHS administrator doesn't wind up getting reamed out for her "bigotted" assumptions re Islamic prayer.

1 comment:

Viking said...

"fearing the driver may be preparing for a terrorist attack on the bus"
... which would be my first reaction, too. And, yet, nobody tried to tackle him?
If we face our "fears" with such passivity we are doomed.

No doubt he will be sent for cultural sensitivity training!