Man faces charges for threatening judge in Norway’s ‘hijab case’
A 66-year-old man on Tuesday was charged with threatening a district court judge who ruled that a Norwegian hairdresser was guilty of discrimination for denying service to a Muslim client wearing a headscarf.
The Jæren District Court judge received a letter from the 66-year-old man in September of last year, just before the court fined hairdresser Merete Hodne 10,000 kroner for denying service to 24-year-old Malike Bayan at Hodne’s hair salon in the small town of Bryne.
Local newspaper Roganytt reported on Tuesday that the man was charged with making threats against the judge and will appear in a Stavanger court next month.
In an email to the judge, the man repeated a line of defence used by Hodne, who last week lost her appeal against the fine at the Gulating Court of Appeal.
“The hijab is an Islamic dictatorial symbol for women. The Muslims will soon be expelled from Norway. Be careful that you aren’t thrown out with them,” the email stated, according to Roganytt.
Hodne herself used a similar reasoning, saying that her refusal to cut Bayan’s hair was not religious discrimination but rather due to her belief that the hijab is a political symbol. She has compared the head garment to both “an Isis flag” and a Nazi swastika.
The 66-year-old man’s lawyer said that he did not deny that he sent the email but said that he was not making a threat.
“My client wants to convey that when he contacted the district court judge in the hijab case, it was to convey that she should not be pressured to rule as the politicians wanted her to,” Kjersti Jaeger said.
Although the Gulating Court of Appeal ruled against Hodne last week, the court reduced her fine to 7,000 kroner and absolved her from having to cover court costs.