Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Purdah at the Hair Salon

How far must the owner of a hair salon go to provide a “reasonable accommodation” for devout Muslim women?

This news report from Quebec discusses the problem of female Muslim customers who insist that their hair be styled in seclusion, hidden away where males cannot possibly see them. The owner of the salon describes the difficulties involved, which may even include an architectural redesign of his building to cater to their needs.

Many thanks to Bear for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:


Anonymous said...

Bomb attack on Malmö hair salon

This happened last Monday. In 2011 there were 16 bomb attacks in Malmö.

- We don't at all know why this happened, says Erik Jeppsson, at the Skåne police.

Previously, criminal groups have used just bombs on businesses as a means of blackmailing.

Anonymous said...

Accomodation will ultimately lead to more of the same. How long before these new customers start demanding the hair-dresser must also share their religious faith?

Westerners are so relaxed about everything I can see some (liberals) converting to Islam simply as a gesture of sensitivity or solidarity. We see freedom and choice as an opportunity to show our respect and inclusivity. Yet those we are welcoming into our countries seem to have a much more pragmatic approach. For them, freedom of choice is simply a means to securing status, power and advantage.

It is not difficult to see where this intercultural exchange is leading. This is a transfer of power - and its only moving in one direction.

babs said...

The question in my mind is what is a reasonable accommodation? I think that putting a veiled woman in the last seat in a salon and using a portable screen would be sufficient. Being asked to put a patron in a locked room in order to get her hair cut seems a step too far.
But then, isn't that always what the Islamic faith wants in Western countries; a step too far?
I don't know if salons have a trade group but possibly they could agree on standards for veiled patrons that do not disrupt their business and stick to them. If the muslim patrons don't like it they could get their hair cut at home by another muslima.
BTW, I wonder if the hair that is cut off is also subject to extreme privacy. Must it be gathered in some special way so males do not cast eyes on it?

bewick said...

This is a little ironic. I can read , write, even speak French, if required but rapid French is hard to understand for me. I always ask "plus lentement s'il vous plait" and then I can understand mostly. So thanks to Vlad for the translation.
Why is it ironic? Well parts of Canada, like Belgium, seem to operate two cultures and languages - French and English,(French and Flemish for Belgium) and appear to have serious problems between the two. Part language and part political.
I say that for 2 reasons.
First is that I was once lost whilst driving through Belgium. I asked a passer-by for directions in French and he totally ignored me. Even spat. I switched to English and he became as nice as pie. He was obviously Flemish.
I shall not tell you what my French friends, who have no English, say about the Belgians.
Second is that I visited Dieppe with a Canadian colleague. I sort of expected him, from Ontario, to have some French. He had none at all so it was left to me totally to deal with the French. I did fortunately. There was little naive me thinking that Canadians might be bi-lingual.
So now Quebec tries to accomodate 7th century Islam whilst rejecting the English of the majority. Good luck with that.
Hell Canada has far less of a Muslim percentage than the UK yet they seem to be caving in already.
Are these salon owners so desperate that they have to cave in to the demands of such a small proportion of their customer base? I wouldn't and as a business plan it probably stinks.
IF they actually bothered to research then they might find that even the (despised by me) Qu'uran doesn't demand that women are totally covered and must never ever be "seen" by a man. THAT requirement is totally tribal and devised by man and not God or Allah.
Just saying. WAKE UP CANADA before it is too late.

bewick said...

Ooops you are forgetting. Spain was once Andalucia under Islam and hence MUST be reconquered by Islam. Once conquered always muslim land they think. They did that with the original Israel,and now the far smaller State of Israel. They did that with Lebanon, Egypt and
countless former Christian lands. No matter that in the 7th century "the world" was a much smaller place largely undiscovered by Mo. Muslims, with the benefit of WESTERN exploration, now believe that the whole world is theirs.
Time for a wake up call perhaps.
Finally seems to be starting in Lancashire, England. I so DO hope so.

Anonymous said...

No way would I allow any staff of mine to be alone with a customer in a closed off or locked room. It leaves the staff vulnerable to mallicious allegations, and even assaults. And it is a stupid situation to be in if there is a medical emergency, or a fire breaks out.

The businesses should not pander to these demands, or before you know it, the muslims will be pressing for such provision to be mandatory for all hairdressers.


Anonymous said...

Avi Lipkin's not wrong.