Norwegian hairdresser who threw woman out of salon for wearing hijab found guilty of discrimination

Monday 12 September 2016 13:09
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Merete Hodne refused to serve a customer wearing a hijab and has refused to pay an £800 fine, saying she will take her case to the European Court of Human Rights
Merete Hodne refused to serve a customer wearing a hijab and has refused to pay an £800 fine, saying she will take her case to the European Court of Human Rights

A Norwegian court has found a hairdresser guilty of discrimination for refusing to serve a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.

The Jaeren District Court on Monday fined Merete Hodne 10,000 kroner ($1,200) and ordered her to pay 5,000 kroner in court costs.

The 47-year-old hairdresser's lawyer, Linda Ellefsen Eide, said they will appeal.

Court papers state that Hodne told Malika Bayan during an October visit to the salon near the city of Stavanger she would not serve "people like her, go and find somewhere else."

Bayan was accompanied by a friend, and both women wore hijabs.

The court found that Hodne "had intentionally discriminated against Bayan and shooed her away from the salon because (she) was a Muslim." It said the hairdresser previously was involved in several organizations critical of Islam.

Speaking to Norway’s Tv2 last week, she said: “I fear the totalitarian symbol of the hijab which says that I should be killed, and for me it is quite unnatural to provide good service in my situation.

“As most people know hijab clad woman do not get to show their hair to men. My salon is a man and women’s hair salon.

“It would have been deeply discriminatory if I had banished men from the lounge because of a woman who could not show her hair to them.”

She added: “Evil is Islam’s ideology, Mohammedanism and the hijab are symbols of this ideology, like the swastika is for Nazism.”

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