Muslim bus driver in London, said to be from Somalia, suddenly stopped his vehicle for five minutes to offer prayers, stunning passengers, some of whom felt he may be preparing for a terrorist attack.
The driver, who is new to the company, pulled over without warning and rolled out his jacket as a makeshift prayer mat before removing his shoes, turning to face Mecca and starting to chant in Arabic.
Passengers said they feared the driver may be preparing for a terrorist attack on the bus, The Daily Telegraph reported today on the February one incident in north London.
The paper cited a 33-year-old passenger, Gayle Griffiths, as saying that co-passengers reacted with “a mix of shock and amazement” when the man began praying.
“When he had finished, he just got back up and set off again — all without any explanation or apology. It was truly bizarre, ludicrous and aggravating,” she said.
The driver in question has not been identified, the report said, adding that the London’s transport bosses have apologised to passengers for the delay caused by the incident and the driver has been reprimanded.
Transport for London (TfL), which runs the British capital’s buses, trains and subway system, said it respected the religious feelings of staff, but asked them not to pray while working.
“TfL apologises to passengers for any inconvenience this may have caused them. We have asked London General to remind drivers who have a requirement to pray, to do so during their rest periods,” the company said.