Non-Muslims Need Not Apply



October 15, 2011

The National Post recently ran a story ran a story about housing advertisements in Ontario that are clearly running afoul of the

Human Rights Commission’s policy. Specifically, the reporter was able to find several ads in which it was stated, “non-Muslims need not apply” or some variation thereof.

When the reporter called the OHRC to ask about these violations, their response was telling. They first pointed out that the Commission has no jurisdiction any longer to launch complaints, and therefore had no enforcement powers to apply to these housing ads. This, of course, is entirely correct. The McGuinty government has thankfully removed the Commission’s mandate to investigate and even launch complaints of their own. So the only way that the state could take action against the housing ads is for a private person to launch a complaint with the tribunal.

However, the Commission does do broad investigations to determine the extent of particular types of discrimination, and then issue guidelines and policies in response. One such investigation was behind the housing policy to begin with. Referring to that investigation, the spokeswoman from the Commission claimed that the number of ads favouring a race or creed was not substantial. “We tend to usually see the reverse of that, such as ‘no blacks need apply, no people who are LGBT can live here, nobody who’s Chinese,’ so I think that tends to be the larger issue,” she said.

Being the very agency tasked with stamping out stereotypes, it’s amazing how good they are at delivering them. Rather than calling a spade a spade, labeling discrimination as discrimination, she deflects the issue towards more preferred targets – those who want to exclude blacks, Chinese, and sexual minorities from their private property.

OHRC, your bias is showing. Again.

Here at Stand Up For Freedom, we do not believe that anyone has a right to someone else’s property. If you own real estate, you should be free to grant or refuse entry to whomever you like. If you have the money to purchase goods or services from someone else, you should be able to choose to buy them from whomever you like. If you have a good or service that you would like to sell, you should be able to sell them to whomever you like. The criteria you use should be completely up to you – no government bureaucracy should be tasked with monitoring these decisions to see if they pass some sort of moral test.

That, of course, does not mean that these decisions are amoral. Certainly not. However, the danger is immense when the state can interfere with decisions that are otherwise legal, except that they are made in conjunction with unapproved thoughts or motives. The threat to fundamental freedoms is far too great

Consequently, we do not believe that the Commission or Tribunal should do anything about the “Muslim-only” housing ads. But at the same time, there should be nothing against “gay-only”, “straight-only”, “black-only”, or even “white-only” ads, repulsive as the motivations may be for each of these restrictions.

There are several cases which even the Commission agrees discrimination is in order. For example, a Methodist church is allowed to specify that their pastor be of the Methodist faith. But the Commission believes that it should have the power to decide if and when these exemptions can be granted.

As the above bias illustrates, that is a very bad idea. Return the freedom to property owners, and let them face the natural consequences for their moral decisions, right or wrong.

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