Adam received a flyer on his door which notified him that he was in violation of his lease agreement because he did not allow his apartment to be inspected by a canine for bed bugs.
Adam had previously denied an inspection in order to not contaminate his home with dog saliva. Upon receiving the notice, Adam feared he would lose his family home unless he consented to the search. Feeling cornered, Adam contacted CAIR-WA for help on how to prevent apartment management from bringing dogs into his home.
On July 30, CAIR-WA sent a letter to the executive director of Adam’s housing unit to inform them of the religious belief of many observant Muslims that dogs are ritually unclean and should be avoided. The letter also urged that Muslims should be provided an alternative to dog inspections that do not require an additional charge to keep the canines from entering.
Adam approved the letter and gave CAIR-WA permission to send it to the executive director on his behalf. In order to emphasize the urgency of the matter, CAIR-WA attempted to follow up with the executive director on August 9 with a phone call. CAIR-WA received a message that a response to our letter was in the mail. CAIR-WA will continue to pursue this matter aggressively to ensure that Adam’s rights as a Muslim are ensured in housing and that this case is fully resolved. Full resolution may also include policy changes and training for management at the housing authority to ensure that future religious accommodations requests by Muslim residents are accommodated. As in employment, education and other areas, religious accommodations must be provided in housing as well.