A fine of 10,000 kroner (around 1.000 €) plus 5,000 additional to pay for the courts’ costs. This was the amount imposed by a Norwegian court against a hairdresser who turned away a Muslim client wearing a headscarf.
The amount of the fine is even higher than what initially was proposed by the police after having received the charge. But the hairdresser – who according to Norwegian media was allegedly linked with xenophobic groups – decided to appeal to the court decisions, as NTB agency reported.
Merete Hodne owns a hairdresser salon in Bryne, a small town in southwestern Norway. When last October Malika Bayane, 26, attempted to get in wearing a hijab she was turned away by Hodne, who told her “she would have to find someplace else because she didn’t accept (clients) like her” as the charge sheet reports.
Bayane immediately reported the episode to the police who prosecuted the hairdresser on the charge of religious discrimination. “I feel hurt by this behaviours. Norway is my home country” explained Bayane to the press.
The 47-year-old hairdresser had told the court she saw the hijab as a political symbol representing an ideology that frightens her, rather than as a religious symbol.
“I see it as a totalitarian symbol. When I see a headscarf, I don’t think of religion, but of totalitarian ideologies and regimes,” she told the judges, as reported by Norwegian daily Verdens Gang.
It is now up to the court to pronounce the final verdict of the appeal.