Hairdresser sued over Muslim headscarf ban

Bushra NoahA hair salon owner is being sued for religious discrimination after refusing a Muslim teenager a job as a stylist because she wore a headscarf.

Sarah Desrosiers said she refused 19-year-old Bushra Noah the position because it was an “absolutely basic” requirement that customers could see their stylist’s hair. The 32-year-old, whose “alternative” salon in London specialises in “urban, funky punky” cuts, has already spent £1,000 fighting the case. Miss Noah wants £15,000 for injury to her feelings plus an unspecified amount for lost earnings. She maintains that her headscarf is an integral part of her religious beliefs.

Miss Desrosiers, who denies any discrimination, said: “The essence of my line of work is the display of hair. To me, it’s absolutely basic that people should be able to see the stylist’s hair. It has nothing to do with religion. It is just unfortunate that for her covering her hair symbolises religion.”

Daily Telegraph, 9 November 2007

See also Evening Standard, 8 November 2007