U.K.: discriminatory for hair salon not to hire headscarf wearer?

“The owner of a fashionable hair salon today denied being a racist after turning down a headscarf-wearing Muslim who applied for a stylist’s job. Sarah Desrosiers, 32, told a tribunal it was vital that all her staff show off ‘flamboyant’ haircuts at the Wedge salon in King’s Cross. And Miss Desrosiers, from Hackney, said 19-year-old Mrs Bushra Noah’s headscarf was out of keeping with the ‘ultra-modern, urban, edgy and funky’ style of her business. …Mrs Noah is claiming £34,000 in compensation for religious discrimination from Miss Desrosiers, who says she faces financial ruin if she loses the case.” (“‘Headscarf doesn’t fit our funky image’ says salon owner who turned down Muslim stylist”, Daily Mail, Apr. 1). Update Jun. 18: salon owner ordered to pay £4,000 for “injury to feelings”.


  • HotAir covered this last November http://hotair.com/archives/2007/11/08/hairdresser-headscarf-lawsuit/
    that story linked to a story at This is London (also dated November) http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23420030-details/Hairdresser+sued+for+religious+discrimination/article.do
    “Ms Noah said today she had attended a total of 25 interviews for hairdressing jobs without success and had decided to take legal action because she had been upset by Ms Desrosiers’ comments. She said: “I decided to sue this hairdresser because she upset me the most. I felt so down and got so depressed, I thought if I am not going to defend myself, who is?”

  • You can have freedom, or you can have multiculturalism, but you can’t have both.

  • You can have freedom AND multiculturalism at the same time! (Indeed, in many regards, that is exactly what you will get with freedom.)

    What you can’t have is freedom and GOVERNMENT-IMPOSED multicuturalism (or government-imposed much of anything, really)… of course, partly, that’s because government-imposed “multi-culturalism” is actually mono-culturalism, in that case, the government culture.

  • I think the hairdresser should offer the woman a job if she wears a decorative wig (such as some Jewish, and indeed Muslim, women wear to cover their hair rather than a scarf). A wig which is “ultra-modern, urban, edgy, and funky”.

    That should make it clear that it’s not religious discrimination.