July 01, 2008
Think it can't happen here?
I was appalled to read that a small business owner in England (a woman who operates a "urban and edgy," and "funky" hair salon) was sued by a devoutly religious Muslim woman who refused to work without her head covered. Which means the owner has "had to shell out $8,000 for hurting a veiled Muslim job applicant's feelings":
when Desrosiers advertised for a junior assistant, it was reasonable for her to exercise her judgment as to who would fit the image of her "funky" salon:There's a picture of "Bushra" there, and a picture of the owner here, and the contrast couldn't be starker."I sell image -- it's very important -- and I would expect a hair stylist to display her hair because I need people to be drawn in off the street," said Ms. Desrosiers. "If someone came in wearing a baseball hat or a cowboy hat I'd tell them to take it off while they're working. To me, it's absolutely basic that people should be able to see the stylist's hair."Muslim applicant Bushra Noah, pictured below, does not fit the image. She is pointedly, reproachfully un-funky, a silent admonition to those infidel women who dare to flaunt their hair and a deterrent to precisely the kind of customer Desrosiers wishes to attract.
Religious discrimination and hurt feelings my ass! This is a small business owner whose business reputation and success depend on her being able to project an image with which her customers can identify. As the author (Mary Jackson) points out, the owner took all the risks, and this litigant took none, which is the height of unfairness:
Desrosiers railed against this injustice:Reading between the lines, I get the clear impression that this case is another example of "legal jihad" (something with which I suspect was behind a post 9/11 lawsuit I got dragged into).I've worked hard all my life -- how can it be possible that someone can come into my shop, talk to me for ten minutes, and then sue me for £34,000? How is that possibly fair?It isn't fair. It isn't fair because the balance of risk and reward has been cruelly inverted. Desrosiers risked, sacrificed, and lost. Noah risked nothing, sacrificed nothing, and won.
Islam is doing what Islam has always done: taking territory by any means possible. For Muslims in the West, tears are more effective than guns. We cannot stop Muslims complaining, but can ensure that the squeaking gate does not always get the oil.The owner here was placed in a classic damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't position. Had she hired this whining, covered woman, and had her trendy urban hipster customers felt uncomfortable about having their hair cut by a self-proclaimed prude, they'd have most likely not have complained, because trendiness is infected with political correctness.
But the thing is, a haircut is a personal service. A very personal service. If you're in the least bit uncomfortable (as I have been with several haircutters), you won't go back. No one wants a confrontation even under ordinary circumstances. But when you add PC to the mix, it becomes even less likely. So, had the owner hired her and watched her customer base dwindle, what then? Fire Bushra? She'd be sued for even more.
What heightens my suspicion that this is nothing more than contrived legal jihad is that I suspect the vast majority of the haircuts at the salon are decidedly "un-Islamic." While I'm not versed enough in the religion to know what an "un-Islamic" haircut is, I do know that barbers in Iraq have been killed for giving them.
Anyone remember the Iranian crackdown on "homosexual" haircuts?
Here are two videos on the subject:
Frankly, the haircuts didn't look especially gay to me, but I guess you have to be Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to know what a gay haircut looks like.
An Islamic advisory opinion states that among other things, women should:
...avoid "punk rock" hairstyles that mimic pagan tribal haircuts and avoid "lesbian" hairstyles....I don't know what a pagan lesbian tribal haircut is, as I'm not a lesbian tribalist. But whatever it is, I'd be willing to bet that Bushra's religion would frown on her giving them. So maybe she'd use her position to deliver lectures to customers on the importance of morally correct haircuts. (Oh, and couldn't she also refuse to cut men's hair, for religious reasons?)
Sorry, but this all goes to precisely why she should not be hired for the job.
I think she's insincere and I suspect she's some sort of a flack for an agenda.
The whole lawsuit has a very suspicious smell. It strikes me as similar to a devout Muslim applying for a job in the alcoholic beverage or pork industry.
If they don't like the dress code, find a new job.Employers should have the right to set whatever dress, grooming, or hair style policies they deem appropriate to their workplace. Especially in places that cater to helping customers achieve a certain "look" (and I don't care what the look is), expecting employees to reflect that look is almost a no-brainer.
But the discrimination bureaucracy is brainless.
UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link, and a warm welcome to all!
posted by Eric on 07.01.08 at 10:49 AM
Search the Site
Classics To Go
See more archives here
Old (Blogspot) archives
A knee sock jihad might be premature at this time
People Are Not Rational
No Biorobots For Japan
The Thorium Solution
Radiation Detector From A Digital Camera
This war of attrition is driving me bananas!
Attacking Christianity is one thing, but must they butcher geometry?
Are there trashy distinctions in freedom of expression?
Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood