Plaintiff becomes defendant in unusual discrimination case

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An Oslo real estate firm found itself the target of an unusual discrimination case filed by a female client who ended up being charged with discrimination herself.

Aftenposten.no reported this week that a woman who considered selling her home had approached Oslo real estate firm Eie, to obtain a professional appraisal of it. She objected when the firm assigned her case to real estate adviser Saqlain Qayyum.

She did not approve of his muslim background, and requested another broker who was either Christian or not religious.

When the firm declined her request, she filed a claim against the firm with a state equality and anti-discrimination panel, complaining that she was being discriminated against on the basis of her own religion.

Not only did the panel reject her complaint, it ended up determining that she was guilty of discrimination herself, on the basis of religious beliefs.

Qayyum was pleased with the panel’s findings and grateful for the support he received from the management and colleagues at the Eie real estate chain. “That’s what’s most important for me,” he told Aftenposten.no. “But I’m also glad that the panel took on the case, and supported me.”

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