Bus driver treated me like terrorist, says veil woman. Woman travelling with her baby in Bristol was told by driver ‘this world is dangerous’
A bus driver has been disciplined after asking a Muslim woman to remove her face veil, telling passengers: “This world is dangerous.”
The 20-year-old woman was with her two-month-old baby when the driver of a First service into Bristol city centre told her he did not know what she was capable of doing if he could not see her face.
The woman, who has not been named, told Bristol Live: “He said I was scary and I was dangerous, and he kept talking about it during the journey. I didn’t say anything.
“He continued to insult me, and he made me out to be a terrorist, and kept saying everyone should see each other’s faces. He asked why I was wearing a balaclava. He was insinuating I was going to bomb the bus.”
The woman said the incident had made her feel “horrible and disappointed”.
“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,” she said. “It’s 2018, we shouldn’t be like that. I’m being stereotyped.”
Mobile phone footage taken after the woman left the bus showed other passengers confronting the driver over the incident, which took place on 1 July.
The driver can be heard asking a female passenger why she is filming him. “I’m recording you so we can report you later on,” she said.
Another woman said: “I don’t understand why you care [how she’s dressed]. It’s her choice what she wears.”
The driver replied: “I care because this world is dangerous. If you don’t see somebody’s face, that’s not good.”
He later added: “I can see your face, you can see my face. We should see our faces.”
A First West of England spokesman said: “We have fully and unreservedly apologised to the customer for the distress caused when one of our drivers expressed his personal opinions, and 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 and 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 seriously.
“We are also helping the police with their inquiries and we are arranging a meeting with the customer to apologise in person and discuss matters in more detail.”