Toronto Woman Files Human Rights Complaint for Not Getting Haircut

A barbershop located in Toronto has been dragged into a human rights complaint because its barbers denied cutting a woman’s hair. A 35-year-old female, Faith McGregor, visited the barbershop named Terminal Barber Shop on Bay Street, sometime in June and asked for a haircut, but she was refused.

All the barbers at the shop were Muslims and they informed McGregor that their religion does not allow them to cut hair of a female, that is not ones immediate family member. Consequently, McGregor filed a human rights complaint stating that it was her right to get a haircut.

The head of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Barbara Hall, explained that Canada is becoming more diverse than ever, and it is bringing rights into conflict. Barbara mentioned that “no right is absolute,” “So no right trumps another.” On the other hand, members of Muslim Association of Canada articulated their astonishment on the complaint being heard. A member of the association, Mohammed Hassan, asserted that “It is in the holy Koran, you are not allowed to cut the hair of a woman,” so “only a woman is supposed to cut the hair of another woman.”

McGregor declared that “I want the shop to be cited and forced to give haircuts in the fashion they provide [barbershop style] to any woman, or man that asks for one.” McGregor further demanded that the shop shall post a sign stating both men and woman will be served.  The case will go to mediation in February.

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