Swedish bus driver sacked after Muslim veil incident

A Malmö bus driver has been fired from his job following revelations that he stopped a woman from boarding his bus because she was wearing a niqab, a form of Islamic headdress that covers the face. The bus company, Arriva, has elected not to extend the driver’s contract, suggesting that this was not an isolated incident.

The incident occurred last Tuesday morning when “Leonora” boarded the number 35 bus on her usual route between the Rosengård housing estate and the city’s central station. According to Leonora, the driver stopped her from boarding, saying that her niqab made her hard to identify. “I have never before needed to identify myself on a public bus. This wasn’t a weapon I was carrying,” she told The Local.

Leonora stayed on the bus anyway, but claims that the driver mocked her and looked at her angrily. “I can understand that people don’t like it, but I think they should leave their prejudices at home,” she said.

The Local, 2 May 2007