36-year-old Angela Kempeners is the first niqab-wearing woman to be put off public transport since the Netherlands implemented its burka ban on August 1st.
Earlier this week an Arriva bus driver in Stein asked her to get off the bus. She refused and the bus driver called the police. Twenty minutes later, a police officer arrived and asked her to go. Which she did.
Arriva said the incident was “not in accordance with the rules” – Arriva instructed its workers not to enforce the ban.
According to the public transit company’s rules, drivers must always focus on de-escalation and must not stop the vehicle or disrupt the schedule.
Despite the ban, travelers with a valid ticket can not be forced to leave the vehicle because the company has a duty to offer transport, Arriva said in its rules, according to Trouw.
Angela converted to Islam ten years ago and started wearing a niqab as a symbol of her religion, according to De Limburger. “I decided to myself”, she said to the newspaper.
She says that she regularly travels by bus, but this was the first time she was asked to get off. She was in Stein for a new job that day. Despite the incident, she will continue taking the bus. “I now have to take the bus every day and have no alternative, it is a 20 minute ride.”
When Angela took the bus again the next day, she came across the same driver in Stein. The driver again called the police, but this time they did not respond, according to De Limburger.
Arriva confirmed that they discussed the matter with the bus driver in question, but would say nothing further.
Angela said that she is shaken by the event. “I felt just like a black person in the United States. This really hit me”, she told Trouw.
The law bans face-covering clothing in government buildings, public transport, health care institutions, and education institutions.
The post Niqab woman removed from Dutch bus says she feels discriminated “like a black person in the USA” appeared first on Voice of Europe.
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Author: Emma R.
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