A beauty salon owner has been arrested by Thames Valley Police over an alleged Facebook post declaring Muslim customers would no longer be accepted at her beauty salon.
The woman, named locally as 43-year-old April Major, allegedly decided she would ban Muslim patrons from making appointments at her beauty salon, Blinks of Bicester. A now-deleted Facebook post read: “Blinks of Bicester are no longer taking bookings from anyone from the Islamic faith whether you are UK granted with passport or not”, adding “Sorry but time to put my country first”.
She defended her stance in later posts to critics, saying she was not a “racialist [sic]” and that she had grown up with “raga and patowoire language with Trinidad”.
After complaints were made, Thames Valley Police confirmed her arrest on their own Facebook page, under section 19 of the Public Order Act, in which the “use of words or behaviour/display of written material intended to stir up religious hatred” is an offence. People have praised Thames Valley Police for their zero tolerance stance on racial hatred on social media.
According to the 2010 Equalities Act, businesses are banned from refusing service on the basis of religion.
Oh Blinks of Bicester, you fools. pic.twitter.com/OBppbEDWkR— Jamie Osman (@jamieosman) November 15, 2015
The reviews to Blinks of Bicester kill me pic.twitter.com/1TZvckrb41— jacko (@clxbfoot) November 15, 2015
The Facebook page for Blinks of Bicester is now inaccessible; however, users had been posting mock reviews on the page in protest of the “ban”. The average review of the page before it was taken down stood at 1.1 of 5 stars. Twitter users took screenshots of the reviews before the page became inaccessible.