London transport chiefs apologise to passengers after driver stops to pray

London transport chiefs apologise to passengers after driver stops to pray February 8, 2010

A MUSLIM bus driver stunned passengers when he stopped his vehicle and began praying in the aisle this week -with the engine still running.
The driver, according to this report, parked without warning – then used a fluorescent jacket as an improvised prayer mat. He took off his shoes, knelt down facing Mecca, and began to chant.
The prayer session held up the bus for more than five minutes with no-one able to get on or off.

Mercifully, there were no randy animals on board the No 24 bus when the driver stopped to pray
Passenger Gayle Griffiths, 33, complained to Transport for London about the bizarre incident on the No 24 bus in Gospel Oak, north London. She had boarded the bus a few minutes earlier on her way home from work.
She said:

I have done the journey a million times before but I was in a hurry to get home to pick my little girl up from school. We had just picked up and let off people at a bus stop and moved off again when the driver stopped the bus very suddenly.

He got out of his cab, leaving the engine running, and walked towards the middle exit door. He laid out a fluorescent jacket on the floor and I thought that somebody must have been sick and he was covering it up. But then he took off his shoes and began praying. I was gobsmacked and quite bewildered.

Miss Griffiths said the bus driver didn’t give the passengers any explanation as to what he was doing. He hadn’t addressed the passengers at all. I didn’t say anything and nor did anyone else. I thought it would all be over in 30 seconds but it went on for over five minutes.

It even went through my mind that this might be some sort of terrorist attack with the bus blown up because I had heard that suicide bombers prayed before attacks.
Everyone was looking round in a mix of shock and amazement. It was truly bizarre, ludicrous and aggravating.We are delayed often enough as it is in London. We live in a multi-cultural society but there is a time and a place for prayer and the middle of a journey with a busload of passengers is not it.

Transport for London said it had apologised to all the passengers for the delay to their journey and said all Muslim drivers are being reminded that they should pray during statutory rest periods rather than hold up services.
A TfL spokesman said:

The bus company, London General, has had a word with the driver as this is not something that should be happening. TfL apologises to passengers for any inconvenience this may have caused them.

He added:

We understand that there is some flexibility in the Muslim faith as to the times of day that drivers can pray. TfL and the individual bus operating companies acknowledge and value the diversity of their staff.  As diverse employers, TfL and the bus operators provide suitable prayer or quiet rooms at garages and other key locations for staff who wish to practise their faith.

We have asked London General to remind drivers who have a requirement to pray to use these facilities during their rest periods.

In March, 2008, The Sun carried a story that London bus driver Arunas Raulynaitis, a Muslim, had turfed passengers of a bus in Slough so that he could pray, and said distressed passengers thought he might be a fanatic. An subsequent investigation by the bus company found that Raulynaitis had actually used his statutory rest break to engage in a conversation with Allah, and there was no question of him breaking any rules.
The Sun issued an apology.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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  • barriejohn

    Where do you get those pics, Barry?

  • barriejohn

    My mind went to this straight away!! What on earth would they have made of THIS story?

  • ZombieHunter

    Well at least he didn’t do the whole rugbutting thing while the bus was actually moving 😛

  • Barry Duke

    I did a Google image search – *funny Muslims*, I think – but I’ve lost the bloody link

  • Barry Duke

    Yeah, ZH, praying and driving would be suicide, and suicide and Islam … er… Whoops! I think I’ll get an early night …

  • Broga

    Note the cringing, grovelling few words that reveal the reality of a weak, at all costs do not offend the religious, respect the bizarre views of one fundamentalist muslim even if this means inconveniencing an entire bus: “we understand there is some flexibility in the muslim faith.” Really! So what has that got to do with running a ‘bus service? Zilch. How many times a day does he pray? Is he goes to be disciplined for this behaviour? Has he done this before?

  • barriejohn

    How many of you remember Sykes and a Bus (Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques)? He’d have had a field day with this story!
    I couldn’t find a clip of it, but this more than makes up for that fact!!

  • Broadsword Calling Danny Boy

    Notice how the orc gave no explanation to his infidel passengers?
    Says it all doesn’t it?

  • ianwrotethis

    I would have rung the bell continuously.

  • barriejohn

    Generation Jihad: Three-part in-depth series looking at the rdicalization of young Muslims, starting tonight on BBC2 at 9.00pm.

  • valdemar

    It takes the familiar, never-popular figure of the unhelpful bus driver to a whole new level.
    Perhaps an effective countermeasure would be to set up an emergency atheist hotline. Then, if a driver starts praying, a freethinking passenger could call the hotline and have a loud, one-sided chat about evolution.

  • Neil

    If that ever happens to me whilst on the bus i’ll take all the money from the cash dispenser, which is just behind the door.
    Seriously though, isn’t this bloody annoying? They know that no-one is interested in their culture/religion, so they shove it down our throats at every opportunity.
    Muslim taxi drivers can be worse; if i ever get into a cab and the driver has recitations of theQuran playing, I always ask him to turn it off. Sometimes they don’t, sometimes they dont get paid.

  • Where do we get to the point that we declare such extreme religiosity a mental illness? I mean, when it interferes with your ability to function normally in life it is obviously a problem.

  • barriejohn

    If he did actually leave the engine running while he performed this crazy ritual, then he has quite clearly broken the law. I wonder what action, if any, Plod will take over this?

  • Serai

    I’d have had a word for him too if I was his boss, it would have been ‘fired’.

  • Angela_K

    Another selfish and inconsiderate act by a religious nutter who will no doubt go unpunished. Religion: an excuse to be a complete tosser.

  • This is another example of the Muslim tactic of aggressive domination of public space in the lands they are conquering.
    As soon as they move into Dar al-Harb (the lands of the infidel) in any numbers, Muslims think they have a God-given right to dominate public space and intimidate, humiliate and subjugate the infidels into submission.
    More examples here:

  • Callisto

    As British born, an ex pat, I honestly do hate to say this, but I’m so glad I live in Australia; despite the harshness of the Australian environment, the heat, the devastating bushfires, floods and droughts, I’d rather be here than living with this utter and complete religious insanity that’s going on in the UK now.
    I just can’t see that bus/Muslim thing ever happening here, and I doubt if it would be tolerated if it did. What has gone wrong, UK? Stand up and fight back! Get rid of religious politicians, get rid of those who kow-tow to every religious whinging demand, stand up for secular democracy! and if these Muslims and their equally demented Xian cousins bleat and bray, then tell them to shut the fuck up and go back to work!
    Every time I read a story like this, it only confirms it in my mind that the UK as a strong independent society has long gone into the mists of time. It’s so bloody sad to sit and watch it happening…

  • The bus company had word with him? They should have had two: ‘you’re’ and ‘fired’. FFS

  • gsw

    barriejohn;: I loved that ES & HJ episode!
    ‘cos we women is dirty.
    This is what Gandi referred to as passive resistance.

  • barriejohn

    I like @valdemar’s idea, but what I think we really need to address the imbalance is an Atheist God!

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    what gets me is that l.t. has to provide prayer rooms at work. why? it’s a fecking workplace, not a place of worship. leave your religion at home when you go to work. i don’t want my money subsidising your religion. any money l.t. has should go to the service it provides, not towards religion.

  • chrsbol

    When that goat has finished will the guy be sold to the neighbouring village?

  • CybrgnX

    Great IDEA gsw!!! I love using the really stupid parts of a religion against the other stupid parts of a religion.
    Better still have a really pissed off woman who is menstruating approach him and let him know she is ‘unclean’ in the worse possible way and tell him to get his butt off the floor and driving or else face the touch of her.
    In fact if I remember being in the presence of such a woman is an abomination or some such silliness.
    In fact this gives me a real reason to do some kaKaron studying to find out all the unclean schite they believe and start using it against them. Using their own religion against them will only work for so long because they will start to do what the xtians have done—ignore most of the content of their holey book.

  • barriejohn

    Believe it or not, it’s all covered, @Cybrgnx!

  • barriejohn

    Re: Menstruating Women.
    Book 003, Number 0583:
    ‘Amra daughter of ‘Abd al-Rahman reported: ‘A’isha, wife of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed: When I was (in I’tikaf), I entered the house for the call of nature, and while passing I inquired after the health of the sick (in the. family), and when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was (in I’tikaf), he put out his head towards me, while he himself was in the mosque, and I combed his hair; and he did not enter the house except for the call of nature so long as he was In I’tikaf; and Ibn Rumh stated: As long as they (the Prophet and his wives) were among the observers of I’tikaf.

  • Alec s thompson

    As someone who relies on london public transport, if some twat of a driver pulled this shit on me he would recieve one of my steel toecaps straight in the testicles! (and possibly a few more for good luck). Koranimals are always trying to push the limits. Time to push back imho, fuck ’em

  • Broga

    These posts were on target as usual but a couple really pressed the button for me. One was the comment that there was no apology for the customers. They are only the people who pay his salary and keep these pusillanimous managers in their jobs.
    The other was the way they ram this crap down our throats as if they expected us to be proud of what he is doing. “Look at me, I am a muslim, and praising Allah, how wonderful.”
    Is it any wonder that about half the UK – or was it England? – in a survey reported this morning would choose to live in another country if they could.
    Now that the black Met Police Commander, described as a bully strutting his stuff and terrifying everyone, has started four years in the slammer might the religious, ethnic, PC stuff be on the turn?

  • Dave

    Fire him then deport him.

  • Alec s thompson

    Bit off topic here but, on thursday there is a pro democracy protest outside the iranian embassy between the hours of 4 and 8pm, or 16.00 to 20.00 hun hrs. It is organised by iranians, maryam namzie et al. Address is 16 princes gate, london, sw7. See you there?

  • Mark Richards

    “The bus company, London General, has had a word with the driver as this is not something that should be happening. TfL apologises to passengers for any inconvenience this may have caused them.”
    A word?
    Here, in wacko land, we’re still not quite that far over the edge yet to allow this… for this alleged driver would have been fired on the spot… with a phrase, “don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out”.
    What has happened to the UK that this nonsense passes as legitimate?

  • gsw

    Actually, it is rather frightening how many people threaten violence, particularly in light of previous occasions when it really would have been sufficient to tell the driver to get on with his job and no one did anything – perhaps for fear of starting a riot?
    I fear that there is a lot of unnecessary hate and violence bubbling under the surface. We should start drawing lines before we draw blood.

  • And on the dear old 24, too – it’s an outrage.
    There’s no chance that this is an urban legend like the last one?

  • Shatterface

    Could be worse if he wasn’t a Muslim.
    At least he didn’t get taken up in the Rapture leaving the bus careening out of control.

  • valdemar

    Is it an urban legend? It does seem quite circumstantial re: name of outraged passenger Gayle Griffiths.
    Hard to see how anyone could have misinterpreted the facts as presented, though. Or was it really a mute Parsee driver looking for his contact lens?

  • Heather Flight

    I read that story, Mr Duke, with a sensation of utter disgust – not directed at the little muzly, for we all know thell pray at the drop of a fart – but to think a bus full of good English people just sat there watching this crouching, cricketty crackpot prattle his mumbo jumbo without poking, scratching or biting the imbecile makes my blood boil.