A 41-year-old Somali woman from the Vollsmose Estate has been evicted from a city bus for refusing to bare her face to the bus driver, according to Fyens Stiftstidende.
The case has emerged in the wake of a similar episode in Århus this week.
For Amina Farah Suleiman, it was the fourth time in a few months that she has been evicted from a bus in Odense. Her Muslim niqab dress code only permits a small opening for the eyes.
According to Amina Farah Suleiman the driver told her he could not see who she was and refused to accept her season ticket. She ignored him after which she was ordered off the bus.
“I will not drive unless you get out. Out of the bus. Now!” Amina Farah Suleiman quoted the driver as saying.
“I was very angry and began to cry,” she said.
The Chairman of Fynbus Torben Andersen, who is also a Socialist People’s Party local counsellor, says the bus driver’s reaction was unsatisfactory.
“I don’t think the judgement shown in this case was good enough,” he says but adds that the Board is also responsible as there are no clear guidelines as to how drivers should react when faced with fully-veiled Muslim women who will not show their faces.
“This is a grey area where the Board has not said exactly what it wants. But I have asked CEO Carsten Hyldborg to make sure that we have proposals for rules at the next Board meeting so that it will be possible to use a season ticket when you are veiled,” says Andersen.
Danish People’s Party
The Fynbus Board may not agree with the driver’s rejection of Amina Farah Suleiman, but the Danish People’s Party Local Counsellor Alex Ahrendtsen does.
“The driver did the right thing and I hope that the Fynbus Board and management uphold the decision. Anything else would be grotesque. We live in Denmark, and in Denmark you show your face,” Ahrendtsen says.
Transport Minister Lars Barfoed (Cons) says that if a person does not wish to show her face, then she should buy another type of ticket rather than a season card, and accept the extra costs involved.
“You can buy a regular cash ticket or a punchable ticket coupon,” he suggests.