Let’s just call this what it is: a sharia fine. This unfortunate man, John Alabi, was given what amounts to a sharia ticket by Ontario’s Orwellian-named “Human Rights Tribunal” for the crime of not following sharia in an apartment that he owned. And now he has lost his appeal before the Divisional Court. This is unbelievable. Why should Alabi, a Christian who came from Canada from Nigeria about 23 years ago, be forced by local governing authorities to kowtow to the religious demands of another faith — Islam? Is the “Human Rights Tribunal” aware of what he came from in Nigeria, and how Muslims are slaughtering Christians there? Would they care if they did know? Probably not.
“MANDEL: Landlord loses bid to overturn human rights tribunal order,” by Michele Mandel, Toronto Sun, November 22, 2018 (thanks to Mark):
Virtually branded a racist, small landlord John Alabi loses at every turn.
The Divisional Court has just refused to overturn the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision ordering him to pay an astounding $12,000 for violating the religious rights of his Muslim tenants.
Despite his denials, the tribunal found he harassed the couple by not removing his shoes and failing to accommodate their prayer times when trying to arrange showings for prospective tenants.
Now he’s not only on the hook for the original $12,000 award but because he lost at Divisional Court, the Nigerian-born small landlord must pay their side’s $5,000 in legal costs as well.
Fighting back tears in the halls of Osgoode, Alabi was trying to remain philosophical.
“I lost my son, I lost my family of 25 years. What more? I’m still alive.” he shrugged.
“It’s not as bad as losing a son, believe me.”
In the midst of this human rights complaint, Alabi’s son committed suicide and his marriage crumbled.
When he asked for an adjournment, the tribunal coldly rejected his request.
It went ahead — and it went badly.
When we first told his story last year, it went viral and Alabi, 53, garnered support from around the world. It’s cold comfort when he remains cast as some kind of intolerant, anti-Muslim landlord — first by the tribunal and now by the court, when he insists he’s nothing of the kind.
For 15 years, Alabi rented out the in-law suite of his Brampton home to help pay his mortgage. In December 2014, Walid Madkour and Heba Ismail moved in but after a number of disputes — they wanted it quiet after 10 p.m. for example — they gave notice to leave at the end of February.
At first, Madkour told his landlord he couldn’t show the apartment to prospective renters when his wife was home. Alabi said the law gave him the authority to enter with 24-hour notice, even if she was there.
The tenants called the police, claiming his loud shovelling snow outside their apartment was harassment.
The attending officers confirmed Alabi was legally allowed to show their unit when they were there.
That’s when they suddenly raised the religion issue, he says, and told him he couldn’t enter during prayer times. He agreed.
It was never enough, he complains.
In addition to the 24-hour notice, and the prayer times, they also wanted him to text an hour in advance.
When he did, they didn’t reply — so he stopped texting. The tribunal saw that as a refusal to accommodate their religious needs.
The couple also complained about his wearing shoes in the bedroom where they prayed; Alabi said he was wearing his house shoes, not ones he wore outside.
The tribunal found he was being “vexatious” by refusing to take them off.
There was obviously bad blood between them, which is hardly uncommon between landlords and tenants. But their dispute went nuclear.
Alabi never did enter during prayer times. Yet the couple went to the tribunal claiming harassment and failure to accommodate. They even used a Facebook joke he shared a year after they left to prove he was biased against Muslims.
For their “stress” and humiliation, Madkour and Heba Ismail asked for $10,000 each. Without requiring any evidence of their emotional distress, the sympathetic tribunal awarded them $6,000 a piece. The couple then put a lien on Alabi’s house to make sure they’d get their windfall for less than three months under his roof.
“It was all about the money,” Alabi sighs….
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