Excerpt:

A hairdresser went on trial in Norway on Thursday for refusing a Muslim client wearing a hijab, in the first case in the country to go to court over the Islamic head covering.

Merete Hodne risks up to six months in prison for religious discrimination for turning Malika Bayan away from her hair salon in Bryne, a small town in southwestern Norway, in October last year.

According to the charge sheet, Hodne told Bayan "she would have to find someplace else because she didn't accept (clients) like her."

The 47-year-old hairdresser told the court she saw the hijab as a political symbol representing an ideology that frightens her, rather than as a religious symbol.


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