03 January 2017

Convicted Norwegian hairdresser: ‘The hijab is like an Isis flag’

The Gulating Court of Appeal on Tuesday heard the appeal of a Norwegian hairdresser who was convicted of discrimination for denying service to a Muslim client wearing a headscarf.

Merete Hodne was hit with a 10,000 kroner fine in September for turning Malika Bayan away from her hair salon in Bryne, a small town in southwestern Norway, in October 2015. Although the 47-year-old hairdresser avoided a prison-sentence, she filed an immediate appeal against the decision on the grounds that the hijab is a political, not a religious symbol.

In the Gulating Court of Appeal in Stavanger on Tuesday, Hodne’s lawyer argued that her client’s conviction should be overturned.

“If the court is in doubt about whether Hodne denied Bayan because she thought the hijab is a political symbol or a religious symbol, she should be acquitted. The doubt should be in my client’s favour,” Linda Ellefsen Eide said. [The Local] Read more