A man was told to leave a 105 bus service to Heathrow, in Southall, because he was playing the Qur’an on his phone out loud.
According to the Daily Mail, a witness on the bus claimed that the Qur’an recitation was “not loud at all”. The same passenger also reported that “the bus driver asked the passenger to turn it off and he turned it off without questioning him”. Evidence from a video taken by a passenger of the aftermath of the incident, shows the driver saying “I can’t do it (drive the bus) safely with music playing” and a woman shouting “he’s turned it off”.
However, despite this, a quarrel had broken out between the passenger and the driver. The driver was insistent on having the passenger remove himself from the bus and was refusing to continue on his journey if the passenger was not going to comply with his order. The “music” as referred to by the driver was too loud making him feel uncomfortable whilst driving the bus.
The individual had allegedly responded by saying “why do I need to get off the bus when I’ve paid for my fare, you asked me to turn off the Qur’an and I did as you said.”
This, unfortunately, did nothing to alleviate the frustration of the driver as he had responded with threats to call the police if the individual remained on the bus. The man did not appear to be bothered by this claiming that he had rights. He called the driver “racist” as he had done nothing but play the Qur’an.
“It’s not even about the music it’s about your attitude,” said the driver defensively, contradicting his initial argument, according to the witness’ statement to the Daily Mail.
The police had been called regarding the incident. According to the passenger’s account, however, “they weren’t helpful at all” leaving it up to the driver to decide whether he “wants to drive the bus or not”.
However, TfL gave a different account of the incident to The Muslim News. They claimed that the driver had “politely asked the individual to turn the music off to which the passenger had responded by swearing at him and refusing to switch off the Qur’an.”
TfL added that the Qur’an was being played loudly contrary to the witness’ statement to the Daily Mail. “Had the driver been in the wrong”, TfL “would have taken action.”
According to TfL, the bus driver was permitted to ask the passenger to leave. This is because the driver might not be able to listen to commands from the bus depot and may also get “distracted which can be dangerous and disruptive”. As well as this, passengers may be unable to hear the bus stop announcements.