lundi 31 mars 2008

UK:Get off my bus, I need to pray!

U.K.: Muslim bus driver halts bus to pray

A muslim bus driver told stunned passengers to get off so he could PRAY.
The white Islamic convert rolled out his prayer mat in the aisle and knelt on the floor facing Mecca.
Passengers watched in amazement as he held out his palms towards the sky, bowed his head and began to chant.
One, who filmed the man on his mobile phone, said: “He was clearly praying and chanting in Arabic.
(The video can be seen at the article link below)

“Eventually everyone started complaining. One woman said, ‘What the hell are you doing? I’m going to be late for work’.”
After a few minutes the driver calmly got up, opened the doors and asked everyone back on board.
But they saw a rucksack lying on the floor of the red single-decker and feared he might be a fanatic. So they all refused.

“After seeing that no-one wanted to get on he drove off and we all waited until the next bus came about 20 minutes later. I was left totally stunned. It made me not want to get on a bus again.”
The bizarre event unfolded on the number 81 in Langley, Berkshire, at around 1.30pm on Thursday.
The passenger said he rang the bus firm to complain but claimed it did not believe him.
He said: “They asked me, ‘Are you sure?’. Then they said they would get back to me, but they weren’t taking me seriously at all.”
Yesterday the driver, who said his name was Hrun, told The Sun: “I asked everyone to get off because I needed to pray. I was running late.“I pray five times a day as a Muslim — but I don’t normally ask people to get off the bus to do it.”
Muslims pray at pre-dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and evening.
A spokesperson for bus company London United said: “We are aware of a reported incident involving our route 81.
“We are currently undertaking a full investigation into the matter.”


" Bosses defend Muslim who stopped the 81 bus to pray "

A BUS company has defended its Muslim driver who stunned passengers by asking them to get off before kneeling down to pray.

London United Busways say they have carried out a full investigation after driver Arunas Raulynaitis rolled out his prayer mat to perform his daily prayers, facing Mecca on the number 81 bus in Langley.

Bosses have analysed evidence, including CCTV footage, and say the driver was actually on his 10-minute break when the incident took place at around 1.30pm on Thursday.

They added that the control room had in fact radioed Mr Raulynaitis to terminate the bus outside Langley Fire Station in London Road because it was running late due to road works. Passengers were asked to leave the vehicle while they waited for another bus to pick them up to complete their journey.

Steffan Evans, spokesman for London United Busways, said: “The bus was delayed and by the time it had reached Langley the next bus on the route had caught up.

“At this point the bus service controller decided that in order to maintain the frequency of the buses he would curtail the late bus, and therefore instructed the driver to transfer his passengers in order that they could continue their journey without any further delay.”

But a 21-year-old passenger – who was hoping to join the bus before it terminated – told the Observer: “People were fuming because they said the driver had asked them to leave so he could pray.

“Most people ended up waiting for 15 minutes and weren’t happy. I was late for work so I got a lift with my friend. But it was a hassle I didn’t need.”

Muslims pray five times a day at pre-dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening. However, Mohammed Ayub, trustee at Slough’s Stoke Poges Lane Mosque, said that according to the Islamic faith the driver’s actions had not been necessary.

He added: “It would have been wrong if the driver asked everyone to leave the bus just to pray.
“Islam is a lenient religion and prayer times are relatively flexible, especially when you’re

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