<figure> <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2018.10/article/5bb6ec8ffc7e93b93e8b45a5.jpg"> <figcaption>© Nurjahan Saleque / <span class="copyright">Facebook</span></figcaption> </figure> <strong>Homestay website Airbnb has booted a host from its platform after the host declined to accept a Muslim guest, telling a British PhD student she would not “fit” into their neighborhood due to her veil.</strong> 25-year-old British neuroscience student Nurjahan Saleque is doing her PhD in Hamburg, Germany. Tired of her commute, she saw an apartment on Airbnb closer to the city that seemed perfect. She reached out to the host ‘Claudia’ –Airbnb only provides the first names of hosts– but her request was declined despite the room being available.
According to screenshots of Saleque’s messages to Claudia, the reason for her rejection was soon clear. “Im (sic) sorry Nurjahan but as I saw you were wearing a veil I don’t think you’d fit into our neighbourhood,” Claudia’s response reads.
Saleque fired back, expressing her dismay and pointed Claudia to Airbnb’s anti-discrimination policy – forbidding the company, and therefore hosts, from rejecting guests “based on race, colour, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.”
READ MORE: Airbnb host to pay $5,000 for racist tirade, last-minute cancellation
“It’s a shocking reflection of you to know that you judged me as a person based on a garment of clothing that is meant to demonstrate respect,” Saleque wrote in her reply. “I’m saddened that you live in such a home and neighborhood where you feel that I could not be accepted based on this.”
READ MORE: Airbnb CEO offers free housing to refugees after Trump’s immigration ban
The PhD candidate then took to social media to air her shock. “For the first time in my life I have been discriminated against for wearing a hijab and being MUSLIM!!!,” she wrote, sharing screenshots of her exchanges with Claudia.
Saleque’s friends started a social media campaign to support her, which soon picked up traction and kicked a digital “Cancel Claudia” campaign into overdrive.
Two days after the ordeal began, Airbnb had kicked Claudia and all of her listings off their homeshare website, issuing a personal ban. An Airbnb spokesperson told Buzzfeed that the host was removed “as soon as we learned about this terrible incident … All Airbnb users must sign on to our Community Commitment and treat everyone in the Airbnb community with respect and without judgement or bias,” the spokesperson added.
Saleque also confirmed that she had received an apology from Airbnb, but the company “couldn’t enforce one from Claudia.”
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!