Veiled Muslim stopped from boarding a bus

A Muslim woman was prevented from getting on a bus in Greater Manchester because she would not remove her veil.

The 22-year-old Manchester University student from Oldham says other passengers laughed when the driver refused to let her on because he could not check her identity with her bus pass.

Now the driver’s bosses at First Manchester are to meet with their trade association, the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), to seek advice on how to deal with the problem if other passengers with photo passes refuse to lift their veils.

They say they have received no complaint from the woman and have been unable to track down the driver concerned.

The student, who didn’t want to be named, tried to board the 59 bus to Oldham.

She said: “The driver asked to see my pass, but it has my photo on and he couldn’t see my face.

“I told him I would not remove my veil and he said I couldn’t get on.”

She is now offering to help the company draw up guidance to drivers.


She said: “It is understandable because the driver has his duty, although he said it in quite a rude manner. It wasn’t nice and other passengers were laughing.

“Bus drivers should be told how to deal with this situation. The veil is my choice and my religious duty. I am willing to go in and help the company so everyone knows what to do.”

A First Manchester spokesman said: “We have investigated this incident thoroughly but found no complaint on our system.

“A women has now identified herself as the person in this situation. However, an official complaint was not registered. Under regulations passengers are required to confirm their identity if using a photo bus pass.

“If passengers aren’t able to do this they will still be able to travel by paying for their trip.”

A CPT spokesman said: “We have not heard of this happening before and as our meeting with First has not been held yet, we can’t really talk about it.”

One bus driver at Oldham bus station, who didn’t want to be named, said: “What are we supposed to do? What is the point of a pass if you can’t see someone’s face?

“It hasn’t happened to me yet but nobody has told me what I should do if it does.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday November 4, 2006.
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