According to Adam Rutherford writing in The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Desrosiers hairdressers lost their case and were forced to pay out £4,000 to Bushra Noaha, Muslim headscarf wearer, (who sued them for “hurt feelings” after she was turned down for a job) because
the tribunal did decide that despite her claim that promotion of the business via visible hair was a legitimate aim, the burden of Desrosiers’ proof only constituted a “risk” of lost business rather than it being a certainty. Furthermore, the tribunal decided that this practice does constitute indirect discrimination because it puts all Muslim women who cover their hair at a potential disadvantage. Thus, Desrosiers is liable for £4,000 damages to Noah for “hurt feelings”.
So here’s my moral question for the day.
Why should a hairdressing salon carry even the risk of losing business because an irrational third party who as decided that showing hair is sinful and thus must be covered up at all times wants to work in the trade?
Surely the the person making bizarre lifestyle choices based on their irrational fears and superstitions should carry the consequent risks and inconveniences – and and not expect someone else to?
And here’s a supplementary question. Are people like Bushra Noah, and the few who have sued for ‘the right’ not to serve customers with alcohol in their shopping, or have complained about ice-cream logos being blasphemous, heroes for tolerance, or selfishly driving up intolerance?