Young Muslim mother 'embarrassed and humiliated' after bus driver tells her she should remove face veil

Lowenna Waters
Friday 10 August 2018 14:00
news

A young Muslim mum has been left 'embarrassed and humiliated' when a bus driver in Bristol asked her to remove her face veil in public.

The 20-year-old, who was travelling from Easton to Bristol city centre, was shocked when as soon as she boarded the bus, the driver launched into a tirade, despite the fact she was with her two-month-old baby.

She was wearing a niqab, a veil that covers the face but leaves the area around the eyes exposed, when she asked the driver for the fare.

But instead of helping her out, the driver told her to remove her veil, and suggested that she might be a terrorist.

The moment was caught on video by another woman on the bus, who jumped to the young mother's defence. The incident, which took place on 1 July, was reported to the police, reports Bristol Live.

In the video, a woman, who was wearing a hijab, asks the driver why he cares what the young mother is wearing and says 'It's her choice what she wears'. In response he says:

I care because this world is dangerous. If you don't see somebody's face, that's not good. In this time we live...

When the two women continue to tell him that what the woman wears is her choice, he says:

How I can see your face, you can see my face. We should see our faces. It's exactly how...

The woman behind the camera then says that she's recording the incident in order to report it to the police, saying:

I'm recording an incident of racism to report later on. I have the right to do that.

Another woman adds:

He is basically saying she might blow up the bus. That's what he just said.

The driver then exits the bus and begins talking to his manager, saying 'it's nothing about racism', to which the manager says 'I will chat with you later'.

Speaking to Bristol Live, the young mother said:

He said I was scary and I was dangerous, and he kept talking about it during the journey. He was insinuating I was going to bomb the bus. 

How is that possible, when I've got a baby with me? I get that he might not be from the country, so maybe he has never seen a person with a face veil.

But for him to treat me like that in a public place is wrong. I had my baby with me. I've been humiliated in public, and I'm disappointed. It's 2018, we shouldn't be like that. I'm being stereotyped.

In response to the incident, First Bus has apologised, saying the driver made a huge mistake, and that the driver has been censured through the company's disciplinary procedures.

A spokesman for the company told The Daily Mail:

We would like to fully and unreservedly apologise to the customer for the distress caused when one of our drivers expressed his personal opinions.

The driver behaved in an offensive fashion that in no way reflects our deeply held values as an inclusive company which welcomes all people, irrespective of background, race, nationality or religion as customers or employees.

We have reminded staff of our expectations and behaviours that are demanded of them. The driver has been censured through the company's disciplinary procedures for this incident, which is a matter the company takes very serious.

We've also helped the police with their enquiries and we are arranging a meeting with the customer to apologise in person and discuss matters in more detail.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police also told The Daily Mail:

Enquiries are ongoing. Anyone who witnessed the incident should call 101 and quote reference 5218145369.

indy100 has reached out to First Bus Bristol for comment

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