French Bus Driver Of Muslim Origin Begins To Enforce Dress Codes

From Le Figaro (translated):
It begins with two women, North African in origin, who were waiting, at 11 p.m. for city bus #60, at the Botzargis bus stop. When the bus pulled up to the stop, the bearded driver looked them over, refused to open the doors, and took off. One of the women ran after the bus, and when it stopped at a red light, she asked the driver, through his window, why he hadn’t picked them up.. He told her that she was dressed incorrectly, in a skirt. He looked disapprovingly at her legs. By her appearance he knew she was ethnically Arab, and therefore believed she ought to have been islamically modest in her dress. No skirts. And that is why, he explained unapologetically,, he had refused to pick her up. A city bus, but a Muslim driver, enforcing an Islamic dress code.

Things might have ended there, for all concerned, but for the fact that the woman in question is 29 years old, and the daughter of a famous Algerian poet, Kamel Bencheikh, an apostate who lives in France and is, he proudly says, an ‘islamophobe.” (by which he means not someone with an “irrational fear” of Islam but, rather, with a deep knowledge of and dislike of the faith). When Bencheikh heard the story from his daughter Elise he posted a piece about it, and also wrote about the incident on his Facebook page, demanding that the driver be punished.

But what happened then was even more disturbing than the original incident of the bearded driver of a city bus enforcing an Islamic dress code. Facebook took down Kamel Bensheikh’s account on his Facebook page because, it said, his post tended to “incite hatred.” Thus does the world’s main social media platform decide to censor a perfectly reasonable expression of outrage by a father at the treatment of his daughter. She had, after all, been refused service at 11 o’clock at night, and left with another woman to fend for themselves in a dangerous area of Paris (Buttes-Chaumont). There was nothing in Bencheikh’s posting that “incited hatred”’; he was angry with the driver, and expressed that anger. But anger is not hate; he nowhere “incited hatred” as Facebook, in removing his account, falsely claimed. He asked himself: why does the social network accuse him of inciting hatred with this post?

Indeed, as soon as the facts of the incident were revealed, the French political class reacted on Twitter, asking RATP (the public transportation company) to provide the necessary sanctions against the driver.. Here are just a few of their responses. Valérie Pécresse: “If the facts are proven they are scandalous.”Jean Messiha:”The woman’s father posts her story on Facebook, which immediately deletes it. Are we still in France? “And Lydia Guirous, spokesperson for the Republicans, was even more radical: “There is an EMERGENCY need to eradicate political Islam in France.” Valérie Boyer affirms that “religious extremism has no place in our Republic. Our freedoms, our rights must be preserved!”

“This guy who drives a bus paid for by my taxes prevented my daughter, who holds a valid Navigo pass and therefore in good standing, who has never had anything to blame for getting on… Just because she wore a skirt,” her father the poet said.. He described the driver as a “Maghrebin” and “Islamist.” . And he demanded a public apology from RATP, which, for its part, said that the driver does not acknowledge “the facts as presented in the press.” However, the Régie (the administration of the bus service) has, however, opened “disciplinary proceedings” against him for “lack of service”. Francilians [people of the Ile-de-France region] can see, every day, that they are very often driven by bearded people,… How many drivers refuse to drive a bus [for some religious reason]? And with the arrival of Ramadan, some people are openly asking themselves the question of passenger safety, because can a driver who does not drink, does not eat all day long, be sure of all his means? Can’t he lose his attention, even for a second?”

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