Lawyer breaks silence in Barber dispute

A still image taken from Nine News’ report complete with an “EXCLUSIVE” graphic, in which barber Sam Rahim peruses the genuine “EXCLUSIVE” report about his legal difficulties from The Weekly Times’ March 28 edition.

A local lawyer suing a Hunters Hill barber because he declined to cut her daughter’s hair, has broken her silence amid increasing media interest in the dispute.

The legal standoff was first exposed by The Weekly Times last month.

Sam Rahim of Hunters Hill Barbershop said lawyer, Amy Carr, entered his shop on a Saturday last August and requested he cut her daughters hair, but he declined, telling her “I’m not qualified to do ladies.. we only cut mens hair”.

When Ms Carr insisted a second time that he cut her daughter’s hair, Mr Rahim said he again politely declined, directing her to nearby hairdressers, to which her response was “this is ridiculous”, slamming  the door as she stormed out of his shop.

The founder of law firm Inside Eagles then took to social media, accusing Mr Rahim of discrimination on the basis of sex.

“Wow. Apparently chicks wearing an undercut (needing a trim) do not get served at Hunters Hill Barbershop because…wait for it…they are not boys,” Ms Carr said in a post on Hunters Hill Barber Facebook Page.

“Insane. Hunters Hill Barbershop might light to look up the definition of sex discrimination.”

Mr Rahim rejected the accusation through the Facebook account of his wife, Ronda Rahim.

“I have witnesses in my shop that were shocked by your behaviour for no reason when I explained to you nicely that we are barber shop and we only cut men’s hair,” he partly said in his reponse.

A few more terse exchanges extended through to the following Monday, with Ms Carr then refraining from further public commentary.

She instead took the matter to the Australian Human Rights Commission, who in turn advised Mr Rahim he was the subject of a complaint.

Mr Rahim said after the initial contact, he heard nothing more and when Christmas and the new year passed, he assumed the matter had been laid to rest.

But in February, he received court papers advising the dispute had moved to the jurisdiction Federal Circuit Court, which is expected to deal with the case within weeks.

“It’s cost me a fortune,” he said.

“But the community in Hunters Hill has been very supportive.”

Since the case was first revealed in this newspaper, Mr Rahim has received overwhelming  support from clients and community leaders, while strangers and friends alike have lept to his defence on social media.

According to the Commission’s website, a dispute will only proceed to court if its determination fails to resolve or discontinues a matter and the complainant then elects to take further action within 60 days.

Mr Rahim last month told The Weekly Times he was forced to agree to several measures including an apology and a newspaper-advertised public statement, to settle the issue but Ms Carr had then refused to accept an apology.

Breaking her silence this week, Ms Carr denied ever being offered an apology from Mr Rahim.

Her mobile number and email address were removed from her profile page on the Inside Eagles website in recent days following increased media interest – including a television news report and morning chat show segment – generated by The Weekly Times’ March 28 story.

By Wednesday (11/4/18) her original Facebook rant on Hunters Hill Barber Shop’s Facebook Page had disappeared amid an avalanche of social media support for Mr Rahim.

“A claim has been brought against Hunters Hill Barber Shop in the Federal Circuit Court for an alleged breach of the Sex Discrimination Act,” Ms Carr said in a statement issued on Monday.

“The basis of the claim is that the barber shop refused to simply run the clippers through my daughter’s undercut, because she was a girl.

“I indicated to him that I did not need him to style, cut or trim the rest of her hair, which is styled in a ‘bob’. Mr Rahim’s explanation was that he wished to keep his barber shop for boys and men only.”

Ms Carr accused Mr Rahim of incorrectly stating to the media he had told her he “was not qualified to cut women or girls’ hair”. She alleges he did not say that at the time.

“The matter remains before the Court and it is inappropriate for me to provide any further comment at this point in time,” she said.

“At no time did Mr Rahim offer an apology.”

In a still image from the TV report trumpeted by Nine News as an “EXCLUSIVE”, Mr Rahim is seen perusing the genuine March 28 “exclusive” by The Weekly Times, through which Nine would have ultimately become aware of the story.

Nine said it did not name Ms Carr in its report to avoid identifying her daughter.

The Weekly Times believes her public allegations against Mr Rahim through a Facebook account in her own name, justify her being identified in our coverage.

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