How I nearly lost my business after refusing to hire a Muslim hair stylist who wouldn't show her hair

**It seems too lunatic to be true. But here a hair salon boss reveals how she was driven to the brink of ruin - and forced to pay £4,000 for ‘hurt feelings’ - after refusing to hire a Muslim stylist who wouldn’t show her hair at work **

For Sarah Desrosiers, meeting Bushra Noah was not a moment in her life that she would describe as especially memorable.
Not only was it brief - lasting little more than ten minutes - but it was rapidly obvious to Sarah that Bushra was not the person for the junior stylist position she was trying to fill at her hairdressing salon.

Sarah’s reasoning? Quite simply that Bushra, a Muslim who wears a headscarf for religions reasons, had made it clear she would not be removing the garment even while at work.

The rest of the article is here:

I think (but I’m a guy, so I may have it wrong) a conventional salon could probably accommodate a stylist wearing hijab. But the owner of the salon wanted an urban and edgy image for her place (be sure to click on the above link to see her hair), something which stood out. It is reasonable that customers would want to see their stylist wearing her hair in manner which was “urban and edgy.” A hijab wouldn’t cut it.

Firstly - there may very well be health and safety considerations about removing the hijab - not that I can think of any offhand, but possibly things like customer hair getting all over it?

Having said which, assuming your idea is correct (ie employees are living billboards for the business and the business has to project a certain image etc) … then how does that not apply to EVERY business? If I’m in a law firm … people may tend to subconsiously view girls with hijab, as being shifty or having something to hide. Shifty isn’t the image I want to project for my business. Am I then justified in not hiring her if she’s the most qualified and capable person for the job?

Not to mention it could apply to every type of person who doesn’t fit in the image. If it were, say, a 60-year-old grandmotherly-looking woman applying at the salon, who nonetheless was perfectly well qualified and could handle all styles of haircuts just fine, would the salon be justified in not hiring her as well?

The extent to which we are justified in worrying about such considerations is something that the anti-discrimination laws take account of - they make exemptions for different employment situations where it does matter. Otherwise we should grow up and worry less about such unimportant things as ‘image’.

It makes me laugh though - imagine where the fashion industry (which caters by and large to young women) would be without all those older male and female designers! If people can give them a chance, why not the girl in hijab?

Well, why don’t we just sue people over hurt feelings and offenses to religion? Hey everyone, let’s sue the abortion clinics because they’re not following God’s law! Let’s sue the homosexual agenda activitists for attacking marriage! Let’s sue the non-Christians for not conforming their minds to Christ! Yeah, that’ll bring justice! :rolleyes:

I swear, you can sue anyone for anything nowadays :frowning:

Well, I think the business of a hair salon is unique in this case because it specifically deals with hair. The owner wanted the stylists to sport various contemporary styles, so that customers could get some inspiration or ideas for their own looks. If a customer wanted to work at a clothing store, but refused to wear the clothes from that store (which is usually required of employees in clothing retail), but instead wanted to wear a burqa, is that really unfair not to hire them? I think employers should be able to require their employees to model their hair at a hair salon and model their clothes at a clothing retailer. Does anyone disagree? If so, why?

You are so right and it is just so wrong!!! :frowning:

(In case anyone was confused by the title of the thread, by the way, this isn’t my hair salon, it’s the title of the article that was in the Daily Mail. I think everyone realizes that, but I wanted to make sure. :thumbsup:)

Some of us only had to see the words ‘Daily Mail’ to know all we needed to know.

O.K., snob. Just kidding. :stuck_out_tongue: No, actually though, the story is legitimate.

How about the Windsor Star:

This Is London:


It’s not ‘snobbery’, it’s just ‘knowing the Daily Mail’ - the paper that supported fascism in the 30’s and whose tone hasn’t changed.

You’re more than welcome to read the articles on the other links provided and comment.

Yes but they lack the delicious ‘this is my last territorial claim in Europe, my patience is finally exhausted, before us lies Germany, in us marches Germany, after us comes Germany’ tone don’t they?

Do you believe a woman who wears a hijab and will not expose her hair to the public should expect to be hired at a hair salon in which employees are requested to model their hair styles as part of their “uniform”?

Hey, I was just commenting on the way the Daily Mail handles stories. If Americans quote the Daily Mail, they’ll just have to get used to Europeans giggling at the style of the source - if the (Labour) Prime Minister kissed a baby, the headline would read ‘Brown’s pedophilia exposed!’

O.K., but I’m really interested in the actual topic which is whether or not a Muslim woman who wears a hijab should expect to be hired by a hair salon that requires it’s employees to display their hair. Do you have something to contribute to the topic or are you going to continue to create your own thread within my thread? :confused:

Well, you didn’t have to respond to my quip, did you? Had you ignored it, then you’d have been able to obsess about this Muslim threat to Western Civilization to your heart’s content.

Is it really about Muslims? Obviously a Muslim was involved and the issue was her hijab, but isn’t the story really about a salon owner and her desire to hire an employee consistent with the salon’s image?

I think the owner handled the job interview in a clumsy fashion, and this is the source of the problem. The owner would have been right to state the importance of image, then request to see how Ms. Noah styled her hair. This would have, appropriately, led into a discussion of not wearing hijab while at work.

Instead, the owner had offered, sight unseen, Ms. Noah a chance to work and then turned her away when she arrived in person.

[quote=Ms. Noah]"When I spoke to her on the phone she offered me a trial day. But when I turned up she looked at me in shock. She asked if I wore the headscarf all the time. She kept repeating, ‘I wish you told me over the phone’.

You think that the story would have been posted here if it hadn’t been about a Muslim? A story about a small business employment case in the UK would have appeared here? Really?

I would have read the story even if the title did not include the word “Muslim”. That wasn’t the reason I read it. I am interested in the intersection of government rules with ordinary life.

I would not deny that may be the case but, in all the potential intersections of government rules with ordinary life going on in the world, a Muslim hairdresser appears the most significant.

It also means that the most “average-est” of small businesses have to hire lawyers before saying or doing the most basic of normal business activities.

It’s a heck of a way to have to run a business.

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