It seems we’re in the midst of a series of bus-related cultural enrichment stories from Sweden. On Tuesday there was the story about the sharia dress code being enforced on a bus in Malmö. And there’s another one coming up later today or tomorrow.
The article below describes an incident in which a municipal bus in Stockholm was transformed into a makeshift mosque during prayer time, and no infidels were allowed to enter.
Driver Held Muslim Prayer in SL Bus – Refused to Let Woman Board
August 5, 2019
Another picture that shows how a public transport bus is transformed into a Muslim prayer room has been widely disseminated. Just prior to departure, a female traveler in Stockholm discovered that the bus driver inside the bus was conducting the Muslim prayer together with two younger boys. When the woman, who felt herself to be unsafe in the dark outside the bus, knocked to be allowed in, the driver refused to let her in.
Last week, Samnytt (Social News) picked up a picture showing a driver conducting Muslim prayer on a packed prayer rug on one of Malmo’s city buses. Social News spoke with the communications chief at Malmö’s bus operation, Nobina, who didn’t want to give straight information about whether the action is in accordance with regulations.
On Friday evening, around 10 pm, a similar situation occurred in Stockholm. When a woman was traveling on a bus belonging to Greater Stockholm’s Local Traffic (SL) from Värmdö towards Slussen in the inner city, she discovered that the driver was engaged in Muslim prayer in the bus.
Samnytt has spoken with the female (Malmö) traveler. She prefers to remain anonymous because of a perceived threat from the driver, but wants to share the course of events on the bus.
She says that there was only a minute left until the bus was supposed to leave, but that despite this, no driver appeared in the lighted bus. As the woman looked further into the bus, however, she discovered how the driver and two younger boys were lying down on the seats and praying.
“Let me stand out in the dark”
The woman explains to Samnytt that she felt herself unsafe and wished to be allowed on the bus so as not to risk being exposed to any danger out in the dark or miss the departure. But when she knocked to call the driver’s attention, he chose to ignore her appeal.
“I was completely shocked that the driver let me stand out in the dark while he kept praying in there with his two children who were seven to ten years old.”
Driver chased and photographed the woman
Later, after the woman was finally allowed to get on the bus, the driver appeared irritated and aggressive that the woman had disturbed him, which he made clear was something he could not accept. The woman then called an acquaintance who had driven her earlier to the bus stop. A dispute occurred afterward between the driver and the two persons.
After this, the woman felt unsafe traveling with the bus driver and left the bus. The driver also got off the bus and chased after the woman and her acquaintance claiming that the two had threatened him.
“The driver began to photograph the car and registration number,” the woman says.
Instead of the bus ride into the city the woman had paid for, her acquaintance had to drive. After the incident, the woman wrote up the statement below:
On 2 August at 10 pm, I was getting on a bus to Slussen. I was stressed about possibly missing the bus; it was dark out and pouring rain. Worse, no driver opened the door for me, and he, with his two minor children (I assume it was the driver’s own children, age 7 and 10) were on the seats praying!! I knocked but got no reaction from the driver. I knocked several times.
I was really watching myself. The driver was extremely unpleasant and angry. I called my ride (friend), who came to the location. My friend got on the bus and asked the driver what the problem was. I decided not to take the bus since I felt uncomfortable and unsafe with the driver. Worse, the driver came after us, screamed that we had threatened him and took a photo of our car and registration number.
1. It is highly inappropriate to exercise your religion on public means of transportation. That is private. 2. It is highly inappropriate to have your children with you late at night when they should be home in their beds. 3. It is highly inappropriate to leave an unaccompanied woman to stand outside in the nasty rain and darkness. 4. It is highly inappropriate and threatening that the driver photographed our license plate. 5. Is it even allowed to use SL buses for private matters on your break?
No answer from bus operators
Samnytt unsuccessfully sought out Richard Nelleus, who is acting communication director at the Bus operator Keolis, which runs bus lines for SL, to hear how they view drivers engaging in prayer before customers and also refusing to let an unaccompanied female board the bus just before departure on a late Friday night.
We also sought out Keolis’ managing director, Jan Kilström, and Suss Forssman Thullberg, who is communications director at SL. Neither of them were available for comment.
The county traffic council comments
Kristoffer Tamsons, who is a county traffic councilman in Stockholm, comments on the incident on Facebook and is critical of how the driver acted, which he labels as “right up the walls”. Tamsons writes that he told SL that they must get to the bottom of the case.