Merete Hodne was initially given an £800 fine by police in October, 2015, after she refused to serve Malika Bayan in her establishment in Bryne, southwest Norway, because she was wearing a hijab.
However the 47-year-old businessman, who said she was fully within her rights to not colour Ms Bayan’s hair, refused to pay the fine and was taken to court.
The case has already been heard twice, as Ms Hodne appealed the ruling in September which initially found she had discriminated against the 24-year-old.
Contesting the ruling, the hairdresser claimed the court was unduly influenced by her previous membership of an anti-Islamic organisation.
NC • TV2
Ms Hodne said the ruling should be overturned as Ms Bayan no longer wears the hijab
However, in January the courts upheld the first conviction and the businesswoman has now said she is ready to challenge it in Norway’s highest court.
The case has now taken another turn as it emerged Ms Bayan, who converted to Islam in 2011, has decided to stop wearing the clothing which sparked the landmark court case.
Speaking out about her decision, Ms Bayan said it was due to personal reasons and dismissed accusations she had only worn the hijab as a provocation.
The 24-year-old told Jærbladet: “Yes, I have made that decision. I need a new start and I’m doing it due to personal reasons I don’t want to address now. I am still a Muslim.
I need a new start and I’m doing it due to personal reasons
“It is voluntary decision to wear the hijab and I am free to take it off if I wish to do so.
“[The court case] has nothing to do with this. I’m going to continue to fight for the cause and for the right of those who wear a hijab.
“Some will probably argue it was all just an act and a cry for attention, but I have to stand my ground."
However Ms Hodne, who as previously compared the hijab to an Islamic State flag, said it would be shameful if the ruling against her was not overturned.
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A model wearing a 'burkini' on ITV 'This Morning'. Images of French armed police officers ordering a Muslim woman to remove her 'burkini' on a packed Nice beach has further fuelled a debate over the banning of the full-body Islamic swimsuit
She added: “Even though I am hurt over having been sued, I’m glad she [Ms Bayan] has finally come to her senses.”
Ms Bayan’s decision to stop wearing the hijab comes as she has taken out a second lawsuit against the hairdresser over defamatory remarks Ms Hodne allegedly posted on social media.
The 24-year-old’s lawyer, Sulman Hussain, said: “The background for the lawsuit are two statements on Hodnes’ Facebook pages which are about Bayan’s private life and which in our opinion go beyond the frame on free speech.
“That Malika Bayan now has taken off the hijab is of no relevance in the case against Merete Hodne.
Ms Bayan said she stopped wearing the hijab for personal reasons
“The lawsuit is about is about statements about her as a persona and her private life and the use of hijab, therefore has no relevance or significance.”
Ms Hodne has vowed to take the case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if the Norwegian courts uphold her conviction for religious discrimination as she argues it is a political issue.
Speaking to Tv2 in September, the hairdresser said: “I fear the totalitarian symbol of the hijab which says that I should be killed, and for me it is quite unnatural to provide good service in my situation.
“I’m not afraid to lose, but I won’t pay for something that is wrong. I’ll appeal to the court of human rights.
“I have dedicated my life to this. I’m not a racist. I am a political activist fighting against Mohammedanism of Europe. It’s not Muslims I’m critical of.”
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