Attention muggers, robbers, and the like: buses are waiting for you in Grand Rapids. "Bus Officials Apologize to Muslim Woman," from AP:One commenter on JihadWatch's thread wrote "South Carolina has a ban in place on sunglasses in banks. I'm wondering how they'd look at burqa's? If I'm not allowed to wear sunglasses, then they'll have to drag me out if I ever see a woman in traditional muslim dress allowed in."Public transit officials have apologized to a woman wearing an Islamic facial veil who was turned away from a bus and Friday rescinded a rule banning people with face coverings.
The ban was aimed at riders wearing Halloween or ski masks and officials had not considered religious dress, Rapid bus system spokeswoman Jennifer Kalczuk said. The rule was issued earlier this year so that an on-board camera system could help identify riders if there is a disturbance.
A bus driver told the woman in July that she would have to uncover her veil to board the bus, officials said.
She had ridden other Rapid buses previously and was able to board another bus the same day.
Debbie Mageed, a Grand Rapids-area Islamic activist, said she appreciated Rapid's response.
"We can't expect all public domains to be aware of these situations until they actually come up," Mageed said. "As long as it doesn't happen again, I'll feel like they were sincere in their efforts to revise their policy."
Hugh of JihadWatch asks:
Haven't passenger busses in Israel been blown up again and again? At times, haven't the bombers been disguised as women? Haven't Al-Qaeda members in Iraq been disguised as veiled women? Didn't Nuri es-Said try to escape Col. Qassem in 1958 by dressing as a veiled woman? Isn't this the oldest and most obvious disguise that a Muslim man would immediately think of? Are those permitting this veil in public thinking about public safety, or about not having to deal with a problem that will require them to offend somebody?Would you board an unsupervised NYC bus or subway car with a fully veiled Muslim? What if the fully veiled Muslim were really a man? Would you know if the person sitting or standing next to you with a veil on was a man or woman? Do you worry that those who wish to hide their identity or who wish to load up on explosives and have a blast (on buses or subways or commuter rails) can do so without any interference?
With regard to banks and financial institutions, would your bank allow a veiled woman to make a withdrawl from her account without removing her veil? Do banks have rules on such matters and if so, will these rules also be modified so as to prevent Muslim wrath?