Norwegian court orders hairdresser to pay fine for discriminating against Muslim woman

The case went to trial after Ms. Hodne refused to pay an initial fine. [Photo:]

The Norwegian Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a hairdresser to pay 7,000-kroner ($812) fine for discriminating against a Muslim woman for wearing a headscarf.

The court rejected an appeal by Merete Hodne, a hairdresser who was convicted of discriminating against a Muslim woman.

The case dates back to October 2015, when Malika Bayan, who wore a hijab at the time, filed a complaint that she had been subjected to discrimination at Ms. Hodne’s salon.

When she asked what a hair colouring would cost, Ms. Hodne ordered her to leave and said she wouldn’t touch anyone like her, according to Bayan’s account.

The case went to trial after Ms. Hodne refused to pay an initial fine.

Ms. Hodne said Tuesday she would not appeal to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights as she wanted to spare her family the unwanted attention.

Ms. Hodne’s attorney, Linda Eide, said the Supreme Court decision was motivated by “political correctness”.

She had earlier argued that the fact that Ms. Hodne was previously active in an anti-Islam group had influenced the case.

Ms. Bayan was “relieved” that the courts had believed her, attorney Sulman Hussain told news agency NTB.

Ms. Bayan, who converted in 2011, made headlines after appearing in social media without the hijab.

She then told NRK: “I will continue to fight for everyone’s right to wear the hijab, regardless if I do or don’t.”


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