John Alabi, 53, is a Christian and a landlord who lives in the Toronto area and is being ordered to pay a fine of $12,000 by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal because he failed to remove his shoes when he entered the apartment he was renting to a Muslim couple.
His crime? Religious discrimination, according to the tribunal. Are they kidding us?
The tenants were planning to move out of his rental home, and he says he gave the couple the required 24-hours notice that he would be showing the apartment to another tenant.
They told him not to come while they were praying, and to text first. He agreed. But when they stopped answering his text messages, he showed the apartment.
The Muslim tenants waited eight months before filing their grievance with the human rights tribunal, where they receive free representation, the Toronto Sun reported.
The couple even searched his Facebook page and found a joke they considered offensive and used to bolster their case. The tribunal agreed he harassed them and failed in his duty to accommodate their religious needs – and awarded them $6,000 each – plus interest.
Alabi says he does not have the money to pay the fine and doesn’t know what he’s going to do.
“What about my rights?” asks the father of three, who has since sold the house. “What about my rights to show my place so I could rent it and put food on the table for my family?”
Faith Goldy, a reporter for Rebel News Service, is crowdfunding support for Alabi and recently aired an interview with him.