Joel Daze and his guide dog haven’t had any difficulty calling for a cab.
Nor have they been barred from entering a public establishment. But Daze has been aware of at least two instances in the past year in Ottawa where a Muslim business operator refused to provide a service on the basis of how the faith views dogs.
A week ago, Daze confronted a Bank St. restaurant owner who refused to serve a blind woman who entered the restaurant with her guide dog.
“He told her ‘I’m not allowed,'” said Daze, who upon hearing of the woman’s expulsion brought it up with the restaurateur.
“I told him that guide dogs are permitted in any environment in the country and that disallowing a person from entering a place with a guide dog is a violation of human rights and you can be fined,” recalled Daze.
The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement yesterday after learning about several incidents in recent months involving Muslim cab drivers refusing to pick up blind passengers with guide dogs.
CAIR-CAN spokesman Sameer Zuberi said it’s also a matter of educating Muslims about the need to accommodate service dogs based on Islamic teachings that require Muslims to show compassion and understanding for handicapped persons.
“Given that our faith is a charitable one, where we are looking to help people, it’s the right thing to do to allow a seeing eye dog into your car,” said Zuberi. (MORE)