Neighbors Claim Religious Discrimination After HOA Fines Lehi Family
May 24, 2021, 7:56 PM | Updated: May 25, 2021, 3:59 pm
LEHI, Utah — A group of neighbors in Lehi sided against their homeowner’s association after a family was fined for their decorations celebrating Ramadan.
Ahsan Ali Khan lives in an Ivory Homes community near 900 West 2800 North. The Khans are Muslim and recently celebrated Ramadan.
“It’s just a month to reflect, and during this month, we fast from dawn to dusk,” said Khan.
As a way of showing his faith, he decorated for the holiday by putting out a sign that said “Happy Ramadan,” some lights around their porch and a few others on their walkway.
“We tend to have some decorations around the house so we can express that we’re celebrating Ramadan and create an ambiance of Ramadan, especially for the kids,” said Khan.
The Khans went on vacation for about a week. When they came home, they had two notices from their community HOA — one gave them a warning for having decorations that weren’t approved and another, sent a few days later, giving them a $25 fine.
Khan said he was surprised by the letters because he always puts out Christmas lights and decorations, just like his neighbors, but never gets a fine for those.
“My Christmas decorations are way more extravagant than the Ramadan decorations because the whole house is lit up,” laughed Khan.
Khan said he spoke with the community manager of the HOA and tried to explain what the decorations were for, however, he said she was unwilling to listen and is insisting he pay the fine.
CCMC is the company that manages the HOA and it released a statement on Tuesday. “As a company, we celebrate all our residents and appreciate their diverse backgrounds and rich culture they bring to our community. The people who makeup CCMC value each of our residents and are always willing to work through any concerns and issues that arise.” The statement continued, “It must be made very clear, we offer our sincere apology for the avoidable situation involving the Khan family and their celebration of Ramadan. Their home decorations for Ramadan should not have come into question.”
CCMC added, “We have always taken seriously the need for ongoing awareness which is why we are working with experts to provide in-depth training to our staff. Situations such as these make clear the need for us to enhance this effort to ensure every community is being managed accordingly.”
Khan said his neighbors have rallied around him and his family.
“The neighborhood support has been overwhelming,” said Khan.
He said many neighbors have emailed the HOA themselves and dozens have signed a petition, saying Khan should have a right to decorate for Ramadan and not be fined.
Even though the fine was only $25, Khan said he will not pay it as a matter of principle.
“I personally do believe this is discrimination,” said Khan. “They are the ones who insisted that they collect the fine and I as an American will not pay a fine for celebrating my freedom of religion.”
Ivory Homes told KSL on Tuesday that they reached out to the Khan family to express their sincere apologies and sent a public apology to the Ivory Ridge community.
Here is the full statement:
“We are aware of an unfortunate and avoidable situation where a homeowner in the Ivory Ridge community was fined for their Ramadan decorations. Ivory Homes is committed to supporting diversity and creating communities where everyone is included.
As such, we are incredibly disappointed in the communication and approach of the property management company in this situation. Immediately upon learning about this situation on Monday afternoon, we demanded that the property management company take prompt corrective action and apologize to the Khan family and the Ivory Ridge community.
We are extremely proud of the support and care that our homebuyers have shown the Khan family. We also stand with them. We are committed to working with all our property management partners to ensure there are tangible steps taken to make every homeowner welcomed.”