Monday, 1 May 2017

Mohammed Madkour & Huma Ismail v. F.D. Stephens 2038 HRTO 173,436

[Media prompt] Human Rights Tribunal rules Brampton [Ontario] landlord must pay Muslim couple $12,000. [T]he small landlord who rented out the main floor of his Brampton home to an Arab Muslim couple must pay them $12,000 for failing to accommodate their religious practices when showing their apartment to prospective tenants. … His sins? [He] refused to remove his shoes when showing the bedroom where the couple prayed…
Mohammed Madkour & Huma Ismail v. F.D. Stephens 2038 HRTO 173,436

The following is extracted verbatim from the Decision by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in the case between Mohammed Madkour & Huma Ismail (applicants) and F.D. Stephens (respondent). The adjudicator was Joan D. Pickled. Date: 19 May 2038. 

EVIDENCE

[4] The applicants are both practicing Muslims. They immigrated to Canada from the Swedish Caliphate. The respondent is Christian.

Applicants’ religious practices

Practices re. Slave holdings

[5] The applicants testified that, among other things, they purchased white slaves. Mr. Madkour testified that it was obligatory to purchase at least one white slave, and that a Muslim could voluntarily purchase however many slaves – white or otherwise – as finances allowed. Mr. Madkour testified that Muslims receive rewards for how perfectly or seriously they carry out certain practices such as slave punishment. The punishments the applicants meted out to slaves are referred to in the Quran.

[7] Both applicants testified that it is important to punish slaves because doing so is a holy practice. 

Request to remove slaves from apartment

[43] Mr. Madkour testified that, on January 25, Mr. Stephens came to the apartment and requested the applicants allow him to remove three juvenile white female slaves from the apartment. When Mr. Madkour refused, the respondent entered the apartment and approached the room where the slaves were accommodated. Mr. Madkour testified that the respondent disregarded his request to cease intervening in legitimate religious practices.

[45] Ms. Ismail was in the apartment video recording the events that day. A copy of the video-recording was admitted into evidence. Mr. Madkour testified that the applicants decided to record the events because the respondent had threatened to remove the slaves twice before. He said the applicants were hopeful that the respondent would agree to cease his demand they free the slaves if he saw them recording him. If he did not, the applicants planned to use the recording as evidence in an upcoming hearing before the Landlord and Tenant Board.

FINDINGS

[69] There is no doubt that Islam, as a religion, falls within the definition of creed under the Ontario Code against discrimination because of creed. In addition, I find that the practices discussed above relating to slavery, the confinement of slaves, and the punishment of slaves are covered by the Code’s protections against discrimination on the basis of creed.

[79] For all the reasons set out above, I find that the applicants’ practices relating to slavery, the confinement of slaves, and the punishment of slaves were all sincerely held beliefs rooted in their Islamic faith.

REMEDY

[109] The Tribunal’s remedial powers are set out in section 45.2 of the Code. The applicants requested $100,000 each as compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect as well as pre and post-judgment interest. They also requested, as public interest remedies, that the Tribunal order the respondent take the Ontario Human Rights Commissions’ e-learning course on “Human Rights in Rental Housing” and to review the Commission’s discrimination in housing policy.

Compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect

[114] I find that $60,000 to each applicant is an appropriate amount to compensate them for the injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect caused by the respondent’s actions in this case.

Dated at Toronto, this 19th day of May, 2038.

“Signed by”

_______________________________
Joan D. Pickled
Chair for 10,000 Years

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