Fact Check

Did a Muslim Woman Demand Men Leave a Salon So She Could Get Her Hair Styled?

A Norwegian hairdresser is facing legal punishment for discriminating against a hijab-wearing woman.

Published Sep 6, 2016

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A Muslim woman entered a co-ed hair salon and demanded all the men there leave so she could take off her veil to get her hair done.
What's True

A Norwegian hairdresser ordered a hijab-wearing woman who inquired about the price of highlights to get out of her shop.

What's False

No news reports of the incident stated that the woman demanded all male customers leave the salon so she could be serviced.

On 5 September 2016, the web site MadWorldNews posted a story about an incident in a Norwegian hair salon that began as follows:

A Muslim woman [named Malika Bayan'] walked into a hair salon for men and women and immediately demanded that she be served without men around so that she can remove her headscarf. Unfortunately for her, she quickly realized that she brought her entitlement to the wrong hairdresser.

The story went on to praise the hairstylist, Merete Hodne, for refusing to "bow" to Sharia law by accommodating Bayan's alleged demand:

Thanks to political correctness that gives Muslim special privilege, Hodne has already been fined over $1,000 by the police, however, she’s sticking to her beliefs by refusing to pay the fine, according to RT. She is due in court for the violation and faces a possible 6-month jail sentence. Still, she says she will never cave.

According to Norwegian news reports, the original incident happened in October 2015, when Bayan was in the town of Bryne, Norway, comparing salon prices. Neither Bayan nor Hodne were quoted in news accounts as claiming that Bayan had demanded Hodne's male customers vacate the premises so she could have her hair done. Rather, Bayan asserted that Hodne had discriminated against her by preemptively refusing service to her, while Hodne said that she didn't want Bayan in her shop and asked her to leave because she believes Islam is evil:

... 23 year old Malika Bayan was wearing a hijab when she entered the salon and asked what it cost for highlights. Hodne told her to get out and find somewhere else to get her hair done.

"It can not possibly be evil just to open a door to a salon to ask for the price of highlights. I feel deeply offended when I am treated in this manner in public in my own country. And just because I wear a scarf on my head," [Bayan said].

"I do not want evil coming through my doors if I have any choice. Islamic ideology is evil, and the hijab is the symbol of this ideology, just as the swastika is for Nazism," said Hodne.

The claim that Bayan demanded male customers leave the establishment doesn't appear in any primary news accounts of the incident that we could find and seems to be an artifact of MadWorldNews' third-hand reporting, taken from a comment made by Hodne to Norwegian media in which she assumed that if she were to provide services to hijabi women, she would be forced to boot out her male clients to accommodate them:

As most people know, hijab-clad woman do not get to show their hair to men. My salon is a men and women’s hair salon.

It would have been deeply discriminatory if I had banished men from the salon because of a woman who could not show her hair in front of them.

Bayan told TV2 that even though she felt insulted, she planned to let the matter rest until she found out that Hodne had posted some "sensitive" information about her on Facebook. At that point, she complained to police:

This is a free country. After this episode, I started thinking about no longer wearing a hijab, but I should not let others define who I am. I've had days where I've felt unwell, where I have felt bad, but I will not give up.

In April 2016, Hodne was fined over the incident but refused to pay, and now she is facing a court date and possible imprisonment. According to TV2, Hodne is an active member of two nationalist anti-Islam groups, Pegida and Stop Islamisation of Norway and is willing to go to jail over the matter. 


Dom the Conservative.   "Muslim Crosses Wrong Stylist After Demanding Men Leave So She Can Show Hair."     MadWorldNews.com.   5 September 2016.

Solheim, Haaland.   "Malika (24) - She Is the One Who Oppresses Me."     TV2. &nbps; 3 September 2016

Ekeland, Linda, and Marius Husebø-Evensen.   "Får Massiv Kritikk Etter at Hun Nektet Hijab-Kledde Malika Inngang: – Grov Sak."     TV2.   5 September 2016.

Cockburn, Harry. "Norwegian Hairdresser Who Threw Woman Out of Salon for Wearing Hijab Faces Six-Month Jail Term."     The Independent.   6 September 2016.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who has been working in the news industry since 2006.

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