A Muslim man was kicked off a National Express coach after passengers complained he “looked shifty.”
A Muslim man was escorted off the London-bound bus after female passengers complained to the driver immediately after the man boarded.
While staff is denying the Islamophobic claims and insisting the man was asked to leave the bus because of his excessive luggage, University of Bristol student Rebekah Makinde asserts it was because of his religion.
"As soon as he got on the coach, the women at the front were just silent and staring at him. They were making their feelings very obvious,” Makinde told the Bristol Post.
One female passenger then talked to the driver and the man was escorted off the bus by a staff member.
The 21-year-old student added how she was even more appalled when another passenger thanked the women after the man got off the bus.
“What disgusted me the most was that someone actually thanked the woman after he left,” Makinde said.
When Makinde asked the bus driver why the Muslim man was thrown off the bus, the driver replied it was because he refused to put his printer in storage, but Makinde didn’t buy the excuse.
"It's ridiculous. Everyone had luggage with them on the coach, I had bags and my laptop on my seat next to me and nobody said anything about that,” she said. “The coach wasn't even that busy and there were plenty of free seats.”
Another passenger, Nick McDonald, added his shock at the passengers’ and staff’s blatant Islamophobia.
“I heard the group of women at the front of the coach say he looked 'shifty'. She got off the coach to make a complaint and the next thing a man wearing a National Express vest got on and asked him to get off. If the man was carrying too many bags, why was he allowed to board the coach in the first place? It wasn't until the woman said she felt uncomfortable that he was asked to leave,” McDonald said.
Yet the company continues to stand by its claim that the man was kicked off because of his excessive luggage.
"National Express staff responded to a number of complaints from customers regarding a fellow passenger's bulky luggage and electrical equipment,” a company spokesperson said. “In trying to resolve the issue quickly, as the service was running late, the customer agreed to catch the next available coach. When he was asked to store the luggage in the hold he refused and walked out of the coach station."
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