Greyhound again profiles Muslim bus passenger
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/30/02) – CAIR is calling for a meeting with Greyhound Lines Inc. following what it says is the second case of anti-Muslim profiling within a month. The latest incident involved a Muslim passenger from Pennsylvania who told CAIR he was removed from a Greyhound bus early Sunday during a stopover in Cincinnati, Ohio, after the driver made note of his obviously Muslim name (The man’s last name is “Muhammad”).
The 40-year-old African-American passenger, who was traveling with his wife from Philadelphia to Nashville, says he moved to one of the front seats of the bus during the stopover, but was told he could not sit directly behind the driver. (The Muslim passenger, who is on disability because of injuries resulting from an industrial accident, wished to sit in the front seat to stretch out because of pain in his knees. The man’s wife wore Islamic attire.) He was given permission to move to the front seat across the isle.
The driver then began taking tickets from the passengers, beginning in the back of the bus. When he reached the Muslim passenger, he allegedly looked at the Islamic name on the ticket, said it out loud, and then told the passenger he had to move again. (No other passenger names were verbalized.)
When questioned as to why he was being asked to move for the second time, the driver brought a supervisor who told the passenger all the front seats were reserved for handicapped travelers. The Muslim passenger informed the supervisor that he is handicapped, but agreed nonetheless to move to his original seat.
At that point, the driver left the bus and summoned a police officer who told the Muslim passenger he would have to leave the bus because of an “altercation” with the driver. As the passenger was leaving the bus, the
driver allegedly threw his ticket on the floor. The passenger was then forced to wait three hours for a second bus.
In a similar incident on June 29, a Muslim passenger from New York was kicked off a bus in Washington, D.C., apparently because of his faith and ethnicity. He was told that other passengers did not want to travel with him.
“There appears to be a systemic problem with Greyhound and its treatment of Muslim passengers. The company needs to meet with American Muslim representatives to address this issue in a manner that will allow Muslim travelers to feel comfortable riding on its buses,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. He also suggested a company-wide audit of policies and training designed to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
Hooper added that his group believes Greyhound’s actions violated the public accommodation clause of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That clause states:
“All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation…without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”
CAIR has received more than 200 reports of profiling by airport and airline personnel since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE.)
Contact Greyhound to request that top management meet with CAIR to discuss discrimination by company employees against Muslim passengers.
- Mr. Craig Lentzsch
Chief Executive Officer
Greyhound Lines, Inc.
15110 North Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX, 75248
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