The latest stupid Western overreaction to hijab. A Scottish bus company recently went to the trouble to promulgate a rule requiring that veiled women show their faces when boarding a bus on one of their passes.
A bus company in Edinburgh has sparked anger over rules requiring drivers to ask Muslim women wearing the veil to show their faces. Religious groups and unions said the rules introduced by Lothian Buses to catch potential fare cheats were unnecessary. Passengers have been told to lift their veils or produce a passport or driving licence when boarding.
As Rolled-up Trousers, to whom the hat tip goes, points out,
I really doubt there’s a big problem with veiled women passing sharing bus passes.
A more pointless directive there can scarcely be. There are hardly swathes of ladies wearing the veil in Edinburgh, much less using the buses. I can’t imagine in the current climate of hostility that there are many people donning a niqab simply to dodge a bus fare.
I’d like to see the company explain how it envisions this happening on a widespread basis given the logistics involved and the fact that bus rides tend to be two-way trips. (If a pass travels from rider to rider its owner is likely left stranded. And the more money is at stake–i.e., the longer the rides involved are–the less likely it is that the pass will make it back in time for its owner’s return trip.)
Are we to believe that Edinburgh’s veiled women coordinate their lives and schedules so that they hand off the pass back and forth like a baton in a relay race? It seems pretty impractical and improbable to me, and if a few people are so desperately poor that they are driven to do so, leave ’em alone, I say.
I also doubt drivers take a very close look at people’s passes to begin with.
This smacks of prejudice, not to mention very poor business judgment on the part of a company that serves the masses (of whom a sizable chunk are Muslim in the UK). I imagine they’re a monopoly, though.