Bangladeshi-British businessman Kazi Shafiqur Rahman is launching a Sharia-compliant airline. Rahman calls himself the Halal version of Richard Branson who is the founder of Virgin Group.
He plans to launch Firnas Airways that will comply with the teachings of Islam. He plans to introduce modest dress for the cabin staff, Halal food and no alcohol will be served on board. He admitted that initially, it was a marketing strategy to introduce sharia-compliant airline, to attract the people.
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But later he said, ‘Controversy sells. And as soon as you mention the word Muslim. everyone wants to hear. All Muslims are loving it. But on the other hand, you have the Islamophobic people. When it comes to the hateful comments, it makes you think, hang on. It makes you think about everything, about the whole approach.’
Adding, ‘I am a British citizen but whenever you pass through security you feel like you have done something wrong. Everyone is looking at you. It needs to change. If we can incorporate a religious culture, it will be a game changer.’
Kazi hopes that Firnas Airways will fly haul to the Middle Eastern countries. But initially, the airline will fly to short-haul routes within the UK cities.
Kazi is passionate about planes, he said, “When I see a plane I get all excited. It makes me happy. I realized my passion when I saw a plane for the first time in my life.’
Firnas Airways that has taken the name from Abbas Ibn Firnas a Spanish Muslim inventor who attempted first successful human flight in 875AD will launch commercial flights in a couple of months.