Muslim man kicked off train for praying

A devout Muslim was kicked off a train bound for Flen, south of Stockholm, in May, after failing to show his ticket to the conductor as he was deep in prayer.

Muslim man kicked off train for praying

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.

In order not to disturb fellow passengers, he made his way to a calm and secluded compartment – something he had done several times before.

”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.

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.

However, as soon as he was finished he thought it appropriate to go look for her and show his ticket.

”I went looking for her and showed her my pass. Instead of looking at it she said I should have shown it to her when she came by earlier,” he said.

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,” he told Nyheter24.

The man, who prays five times a day, tried to explain himself and said that he had never had any problems praying on the train before.

”We have the right to kick you off the train and if you don’t comply we will telephone the police,” the conductor allegedly answered him.

The man, who didn’t have anywhere to sleep that night if he didn’t get home, refused to leave the train, according to the news site.

The staff on board then decided to call the police and officers were waiting for the train at the following station.

The police told him, after a short interview, that he was under suspicion for threatening behaviour.

As the conductor would not let him back on the train, the man managed to get back to Stockholm.

To avoid having to roam the streets of the capital, he made his way to a mosque in Akalla, where he spent the night.

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.

According to Nyheter24, the incident has been reported to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen, DO).

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Train staff threaten wildcat strike in Skåne on Monday

Trains could be disrupted across Skåne in southern Sweden on Monday after the SEKO transport union threatened a wildcat strike over an attempt to remove a troublesome union official.

Train staff threaten wildcat strike in Skåne on Monday
Arriva, which operates the Pågatåg train network, faces a strike. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
The union has set up a strike committee after Arriva, the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary which runs the Pågatågen regional trains, offered Ola Brunnström, the union's health and safety official, two years of salary if he took voluntary redundancy.  
“For us, what was the straw on the camel's back was the attack on the right to self-organisation, that what they are doing is actually breaking the law,” a member of the new committee told the Sydsvenskan newspaper. 
“Ola Brunnström is a chief health and safety official and he should be protected under the Trade Union Representatives Act.” 
Brunnström has denied the offer, but Arriva wants to push ahead nonetheless and is set to meet him, together with Seko representatives on Monday. 
According to Seko, the meeting between Brunnström and Arriva will centre on an  email he wrote to other Seko-affiliated staff on October 9th, when he wrote: “We are not afraid of the bosses, they should be afraid of us.” 
Jonas Pettersson, Seko's head of planning and communication, told Sydsvenskan that Arriva had been trying to silence a high profile union official with a long hisotry of pushing for better safety for the company's employees. 
Arriva would only tell Sydsvenskan that they had had a discussion with one of their employees. 
Brunnström has in recent months been a vocal participant in a struggle with the company over equipment to protect staff from being infected with coronavirus, over loo breaks, and also over Arriva's moves to unilaterally reduce employees hours and salary. 
Pettersson said Seko would do everything in its power to prevent Brunnström losing his job, but said the union could not support a wildcat strike and encouraged its members not to take part in it.