Developer, HOA apologize over Ramadan decoration fine
May 25, 2021, 6:04 PM
LEHI, Utah — A day after KSL TV first reported a Muslim family received a fine from its homeowners association over their Ramadan decorations, the HOA and the neighborhood developer have apologized.
Ramadan, a yearly worldwide Islamic practice where Muslims fast for a month from sunrise to sundown as a form of prayer, reflection, and community engagement, took place April 12 – May 12 this year. To commemorate the religious tradition, Ahsan Ali Khan told KSL TV his family hung a “Happy Ramadan” sign, some lights around the porch, and a few other items along 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.
Ramadan decorations result in HOA fine
For about a week during Ramadan, the Khan family left on vacation. When they came home, they found a notice on their door from the community homeowners’ association. The notice warned the family their visible Ramadan decorations outside violated HOA standards. Next to the notice, stamped a few days later, was a $25 fine for failing to take down the decorations.
Khan says the situation took him by surprise. Despite practicing a different religion, Khan says his family strings Christmas lights every year; he said that’s never been a problem.
“My Christmas decorations are way more extravagant than the Ramadan decorations because the whole house is lit up,” laughed Khan.
According to Khan, he attempted to inform the local head of the HOA about the Ramadan decorations. Khan said the community HOA manager did not listen, insisting he should pay the $25 penalty.
Neighborhood rallies behind the Khan family
Khan stood by his decision not to pay the $25 fine, with support from his Lehi neighbors.
“The neighborhood support has been overwhelming,” said Khan.
Neighbors wrote letters to the HOA, and dozens signed a petition protesting the fine.
“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.”
Apologies from HOA, developer
The company that runs the HOA for the Khans’ Lehi neighborhood, CCMC, issued a statement Tuesday addressing the concerns.
“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 read. “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. … 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.”
Developer Ivory Homes, which built the neighborhood, also posted a statement on Tuesday.
We are beyond disappointed with how the Khan family was treated in the Ivory Ridge community. Please see the below statement we have shared with the homeowner and Ivory Ridge community. pic.twitter.com/sgQnOKad4Y
— Ivory Homes (@IvoryHomes) May 25, 2021
Additionally, Ivory Homes stated they are “committed to supporting diversity and creating communities where everyone is welcomed.”