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Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:27 AM

Woman denied haircut goes to Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1288023--woman-denied-haircut-goes-to-human-rights-tribunal-of-ontario


Faith McGregor, in front of the Terminal Barber Shop on Bay St, says she was turned away by a barber there because she's a woman, even though she wanted a man's haircut.
STEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR

Published on Thursday November 15, 2012
Tim Alamenciak
Staff Reporter

A request for a lunch-hour haircut has turned into a battle over human rights, pitting freedom of religion against a woman’s right not to be denied service based on her gender.

Faith McGregor walked into the Terminal Barber Shop on Bay St. in June to get a haircut — the “businessman,” short on the sides, tapered, trim the top. The shop, like many barbers in Toronto, doesn’t do women’s haircuts. But McGregor, 35, said she wanted a men’s cut.

Shop co-owner Omar Mahrouk told her his Muslim faith prohibits him from touching a woman who is not a member of his family. All the other barbers said the same thing.

“For me it was just a haircut and started out about me being a woman. Now we’re talking about religion versus gender versus human rights and businesses in Ontario,” said McGregor.

more at link


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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Woman denied haircut goes to Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Original post)
cbayer Nov 2012 OP
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #1
snagglepuss Nov 2012 #2
cbayer Nov 2012 #3
Phillip McCleod Nov 2012 #6
cbayer Nov 2012 #9
Phillip McCleod Nov 2012 #10
cbayer Nov 2012 #12
trotsky Nov 2012 #15
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #4
cbayer Nov 2012 #5
Phillip McCleod Nov 2012 #7
cbayer Nov 2012 #8
Phillip McCleod Nov 2012 #11
cbayer Nov 2012 #13
snagglepuss Nov 2012 #16
cbayer Nov 2012 #17
trotsky Nov 2012 #14
browbery Mar 2014 #18

Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 10:37 AM

1. Her name is "Faith"? That is some irony right there!

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:05 PM

2. Very interesting. I side with the woman. If the law sides witht he barber than would Muslim

doctors working within publiclly funded health care be allowed to decline female patients? Could druggists then be allowed to impose their beliefs?

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:22 PM

3. Interesting questions.

I have known many Muslim healthcare workers and I think, but am not sure, that these kinds of prohibitions are lifted for them due to the nature of their work.

The pharmacist issue remains a sticky wicket, but, iirc, US courts have upheld their right to choose what they will and will not dispense.

These are interesting freedom of religion questions.

As to this case, I tend to side with the barbers. It would seem that this woman had many, many options available. Why would she challenge their particular religious beliefs in that case?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:32 PM

6. maybe because those beliefs are sexist and in a modern republic thats not ok?

 

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:35 PM

9. No, those beliefs are religious. How are they sexist?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:39 PM

10. being a religious belief doesnt change sexist nature of the belief

 

abrahams religions are all sexist. thats why its not hypocritical for adherents to fundamentalist versions of xtian islam and judaism to do sexist things. its hypocritical when secular humanists do it because their ethical system doesnt embrace sexist beliefs.

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:43 PM

12. Well, if his female cousin comes in, he will cut her hair.

So, while I agree that sexism often resides in religious doctrine, I think the religious aspects of this particular one outweigh the sexism.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 03:13 PM

15. Why should religious beliefs get special consideration?

You can refuse to provide equal access as long as you have a good religious reason to do so? That's disturbing. Do landlords have a right to refuse to rent to gay couples? Where do you draw the line as to what is a valid/acceptable excuse for bigotry?

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 12:50 PM

4. There's effin two or three barbershops in every block of that part of downtown Ontario

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:10 PM

5. that's what I figured. This might be different if they were the only game in town.

While I think it's her right to choose a barbershop over an establishment that might cater to women or both men and women, her decision to do so might indicate that she set this up as a challenge.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:33 PM

7. if it was a challenge then the barbers lost

 

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:33 PM

8. How so?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:41 PM

11. because now they look like sexists

 

if it was a challenge to the barbers to act decent and treat people equally then they certainly lost

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 01:44 PM

13. It's not about decency, imo. It's about their right to exercise their religious principles.

As the article states, the case is about the collision of rights, an interesting area for the commission to explore.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:03 PM

16. It's be interesting to know if the barber has a regular bank account or credit cards.

Not that it would change my mind. What if the customer were gay or a male transvestite? Where is the law that says religious values trumps all other values/rights?

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 06:14 PM

17. I don't think there is any prohibition about touching gay men, but I would bet he still

is not supposed to touch a lesbian who is not a family member.

A transvestite might be ok. More interesting is whether he could or could not touch a transexual?

The commission is specifically going to look at the collision of rights and will have to determine which rights trump the others. It is not a given that either trumps, imo.

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 02:24 PM

14. Lots of pharmacies, too, I bet.

Should individual ones be able to restrict what drugs they will supply based on their religious beliefs? I mean, a consumer can always just go to another pharmacy, right?

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Sun Mar 9, 2014, 11:43 PM

18. It was settled in private. How can people obey the law if they don't know what the law says?

 

The issue has been settled, but the terms of the settlement are sealed and private.

Apparently, Canadian law doesn't want the public to know which side the law favors. That seems like a very ridiculous way to run a legal system. How can people obey the law if they don't know what the law says?


http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/02/22/rights-complaint-against-muslim-barber-who-refused-to-give-woman-haircut-quietly-resolved/

Rights complaint against Muslim barber who refused to give woman haircut quietly resolved

Faith McGregor's rights complaint against Omar Mahrouk resolved

February 22, 2013

Months after a Toronto woman filed a human rights complaint against a Muslim barber who would not give her a haircut, the issue has been quietly resolved.

During a closed-door mediation session Friday, Faith McGregor and barbershop owner Omar Mahrouk came to an “arrangement” that satisfied them both, thus putting the controversial complaint to rest.

Ms. McGregor filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal last June after she entered Terminal Barbershop on a whim and was denied a haircut because it is against the barbers’ religion to touch a woman.

Both Ms. McGregor and Mr. Mahrouk signed a confidentiality agreement that bars them from sharing any details...

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