The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario received a complaint from Muslims Walid Madkour and Heba Ismail. Both alleged that their landlord discriminated against them. A decision was reached by the Tribunal that the landlord has to pay $12,000 compensation for injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect of the Muslim couple. His crime? He didn't take off his shoes.
The couple’s dignity and feelings were also hurt. This was after the landlord failed to take off his shoes when he entered the home that they rent from him. The landlord will shell out $12,000 to the couple and attend an online training course to educate him on how to avoid discriminating.
As if that’s not enough, the couple requested more than that. The applicants requested $10,000 each as compensation for injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect as well as pre and post-judgment interest. As public interest remedies, they also requested 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.
The landlord discriminated against the couple by not providing proper accommodations for their religious practices relating to prayer times by providing notice shortly before showing the apartment. By refusing to remove his shoes when entering their apartment and especially their prayer space, the landlord failed to accommodate their religious beliefs.
The applicants testified during the hearing that the incident bent them out of shape that they couldn’t focus on their prayer afterward. The landlord’s actions caused an eating disorder on the couple. Furthermore, Mr. Madkour experienced stress, loss of appetite and tiredness during the relevant time.
Her wife, Ms. Ismail testified that living in the apartment was like living a nightmare.