The woman, who was travelling with her two-year-old baby said the driver told her “this world is dangerous” and asked to see her face.
The 20-year-old woman was commuting from Easton to Bristol city centre on the First bus 24. She said she was shocked when the driver began disparaging her for wearing the niqab soon after she boarded the bus with her two-month-old baby, BBC reported.
“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?,” she was quoted as saying by the Bristol Live.
“He (the driver) 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,” she added. “I’ve been humiliated in public, and I’m disappointed. It’s 2018, we shouldn’t be like that. I’m being stereotyped.”
After the incident came to light, First Bus apologised, saying the driver made a big mistake and the company has undertaken disciplinary proceedings.
“We would like to fully and unreservedly apologise to the customer for the distress caused when one of our drivers expressed his personal opinions,” said a spokesman for the First Bus.
“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.”
The woman’s co-passengers – one of whom was wearing a hijab- rushed to her defence and 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… we should see our faces.”
| Edited by: Padmaja Venkataraman