Cutting into religious freedoms

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A haircut isn’t a fundamental human right, especially when it offends someone’s religious freedoms.

Faith McGregor was refused a haircut at a Toronto barbershop in June after the owner and the other barbers working there told her that, because of their Muslim faith, they were unable to touch a woman who wasn’t a member of their own family.

As a result, she took the barbershop owners to court, claiming that they violated her right to a haircut, making her feel like a “second-class citizen.” By taking these owners to court, McGregor is making an unnecessary fuss over an issue that could’ve been easily solved.

All she wanted was a haircut — something that she could’ve gotten at one of the many other hairdressers in the city.

The fact that the barbers refused her a haircut isn’t a misogynist statement on their part — it’s a matter of them being allowed to abide by their own religious beliefs.

Furthermore, the barbers worked at a private establishment and by law are allowed to deny anyone service for any reason they deem to be appropriate. The barbershop could’ve avoided this unnecessary amount of fuss by having a member of staff who wouldn’t be restricted by faith to cut women’s hair. For the many women and children who do go to barbershops, this measure would both promote inclusivity and be a good business decision.

After McGregor made such a fuss over the incident, the owners of the barbershop did offer to give her a haircut at their store from someone who was willing to cut women’s hair.

Even after that, McGregor is continuing on with the case.

In pursuing this case, McGregor is wasting the time and money of the Human Rights tribunal and of the Canadian public that funds it with their tax dollars.

A haircut is something you can get anywhere. Religious freedoms aren’t worth being sacrificed for something so trivial.

— Journal Editorial Board

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