Norwegian hairdresser convicted for turning away woman in hijab | News | DW | 12.09.2016
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Norwegian hairdresser convicted for turning away woman in hijab

Merete Hodne must pay upwards of $1,000 for religious discrimination after turning away a young woman who came into her salon. She said the hijab has "totalitarian" undertones.

A hairdresser in Norway has been fined 10,000 kroner ($1,200) on Monday for discriminating against a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf. Merete Hodne will also have to pay court costs of 5,000 kroner ($750) following her conviction.

Hodne had also risked a prison sentence of up to six months for religious discrimination after she turned Malika Bayan, 24, away from her salon in Bryne, in southwestern Norway, last October. Bayan told the authorities that when she went in and asked what it would cost to dye her hair, Bodne asked her to leave, saying she wouldn't touch the hair of anyone like her.

"The court... has no doubt that the defendant acted intentionally, that she deliberately discriminated against Bayan by expelling her from the salon because she is Muslim," said the ruling.

The 47-year-old plans to appeal the decision, her lawyer told NTB news agency, adding that the court had been unduly influenced by the fact that Hodne was previously a member of an anti-Islam organization.

"I see it as a totalitarian symbol. When I see a hijab, I don't think of religion, but of totalitarian ideologies and regimes," Hodne told the judges, according to Norwegian daily Verdens Gang.

Bayan hailed the decision, applauding the court for ruling that "it was not OK to discriminate."

es/kms (AFP, dpa)

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