21-year-old Austin Lewis has been in a wheelchair for years. He was on the waiting list for an opening in a different apartment complex. However, Lewis was denied a spot in that complex because he is not a practicing Muslim.

The building, which was recently bought by a Muslim corporation and renamed the Ahmadiyya Abode of Peace, changed its policies once ownership changed. One clause that changed things for Lewis was the fact that only Muslims could be on the waiting list for apartments in the building. For people who said that they were Muslim, they had to show and demonstrate that they were, in fact, practicing Muslims.

Citing the desire to "create a Muslim community," the corporation is closing its doors to non-Muslims.

While some might argue that it is the corporation's prerogative to decide who to let live in a building now owned and operated solely by that corporation, there is also the fact that Austin Lewis is handicapped. Do the beliefs of an owner that only a certain group of people should be allowed into the building supersede the rights of someone searching for fair housing?

The City of Toronto, however, may be more at fault than the Muslim corporation, simply for allowing the housing restriction in the first place. In a statement, the city wrote that "The City's mandate policy allows social housing providers to restrict their housing to individuals belonging to an identifiable ethnic or religious group if certain conditions are met."

While it's hard to imagine what those conditions are, it's clear that Toronto is closing down freedoms in the name of equality, something that seems impossibly backwards.

For Lewis and others who are seeking ways to be contributing members to a larger, city community, to restrict their housing in the name of giving opportunities to others is beyond comprehension.

America, let's take note. We don't want to be like Toronto.

h/t: Global News

 

 

 

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