Monday, April 07, 2008 

Saying your prayers part two.

Remember the bus driver that ordered his passengers off his bus so he should pray? Via 5cc, the bus company has completed its investigation into what actually happened:

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.

There is a discrepancy here between the passengers, who seem to say that they in fact had to wait 15 minutes for the bus that had supposedly caught up to pick them up, and the company, but I can't see why the company would lie about how they had cancelled the service. I also can't fathom why it would have gone to such lengths to defend its driver when it could have quite easily sacked him for his conduct if what the Sun and the others had alleged was true. The explanation also ties in with what the driver originally told the Sun:

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 and had not had time."

The driver shouldn't perhaps have ordered everyone off; he could have quite easily prayed with them all still on and in the warm, even if it would have been odd, even if not as odd as ordering them off so he could pray.

As 5cc argues though, this is just another case where something that has a grain of truth in it is distorted out of all proportion and used to bash a community or a religion as a whole. Even now the usual "clash of civilisations" crowd is out on the Slough Observer article, something to be expected, as the usual right-wing blogs had linked to the story originally. The ones who spout "Dhimmitude" are left looking like dummies, but that's never stopped them before.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008 

Saying your prayers.

It isn't of course every day that a bus driver orders his passengers off so he can pray. You still perhaps don't expect the reaction of some when he then said they could get back on:

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.

I don't think I've ever come across a bus driver who hasn't had some sort of rucksack or hold-all with all his stuff in. Strange behaviour or not, it's one thing for someone to be devout, and another entirely to be a "fanatic". The articles ends with:

Muslims pray at pre-dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and evening.

Which is complete nonsense, as only the most devout or adhering pray five times a day, or at least go through the traditional praying ritual while doing so.

This being the Sun the comments are full of the usual hate, how this is the end of Britain as we know it and the habitual conspiracy theories, but this one takes the biscuit:

I am afraid it does not surprise me. I had to sit in the 'communal' room, the only room for visitors at Bart's hospital for a short break after seeing my brother who was dying. I had to sit through a moslem praying on a mat. I did not think that was right in my Christian country. Can you imagine if I had produced a cross and chain and began to pray?

It's always interesting how the least persecuted members of society can always find something to be outraged about, even in the most innocuous of gestures and behaviour.

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