What a shocking headline on The Local, Sweden’s English language propaganda sheet. “Muslim man flung off train for praying”. Now I know Sweden has become anti-religious, but this was ridiculous. A gentle passenger, bowing his head in silent prayer when suddenly, he’s seized by several burly guards and hurdled headlong from the speeding train. Well, that's the impression I got from the headline.
Poor guy. Was he killed when he hit the ground? Surely seriously injured at least? And all because of a silent prayer. And because he was a Muslim, of course.
I forced myself to read further to discover the grisly details. Which turned out to be not so grisly. On his daily commute to Flen from his work in the capital, the 35-year-old man needed to carry out some of his daily prayers. ”I started to pray but then the conductor arrived and shoved me three times in the back almost causing me to topple over. Then she said 'Show me the ticket! Hey!',” the man told news site Nyheter24.
I found this a bit surprising because having frequently travelled on Swedish public transport I found the most remarkable thing was that the guards just ignored ‘people of colour’. They could jump over the barriers, and, so it seemed to me, guards would look the other way when checking tickets on-board. As regards upsetting a Religion of Peacenik, well, that’s off the Richter scale.
The man refused to show his monthly rail pass to the female conductor as he felt he couldn't interrupt his prayers once he had started. But of course! The man was told he would have to get off the train at the next stop. ”She was ice cold. I feel demeaned and discriminated against”
Well done Mohammed, you’re learning.
The man later contacted the train services customer service department where they agreed that it was not acceptable and sent him a voucher worth 1,000 kronor ($152). But to the 35-year-old it is not about money but getting satisfaction.
But of course! According to Nyheter24, the incident has been reported to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman.
Let me make a wild guess at what happens next. Ticket collector gets suspended while an investigation takes place. She’ll end up getting a severe warning and he’ll get a handsome cash settlement. Am I right?