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CAIR Calls on Maryland Community Association to Drop Discriminatory Housing Covenants

(BALTIMORE, MD, 9/12/17) -The Maryland Outreach Department of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the Rodgers Forge Community Association in Towson, Maryland to drop discriminatory housing covenants accompanying the deeds of residential properties in Baltimore County's Rodgers Forge neighborhood. 

SEE: Residents of Towson Neighborhood Confront Racist Legacy of Covenants

The Jim Crow-era agreements state: "No person of any race other than the white race shall use or occupy any building on any lot." 

"As Americans continue to confront the disturbing consequences of racial terror and white supremacy, these racist agreements are a grim reminder of a stain on our nation’s legacy," said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry. "The Rodgers Forge Community Association has a responsibility to its neighborhood residents and to all people of conscience to condemn this discriminatory language and discard these unconstitutional documents into the dustbins of history."

Historically, such racial covenants were commonly used to prevent minorities from settling into white neighborhoods, and instead provided an alternative to racially restrictive zoning ordinances and residential segregation based on race.

The nation’s first racial zoning law was enacted in Baltimore in 1910. Such covenants became popular as an alternative after that law was invalidated seven years later on constitutional grounds in the 1917 US Supreme Court ruling of Buchanan v. Warley

In 1948, the Supreme Court ruled that these covenants were legally unenforceable, and the practice was eventually outlawed by the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Even though such agreements are symbolic today, according to state records, Baltimore County is still currently the most segregated county in the State of Maryland. 

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.    

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CONTACT: CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry, 410-971-6062This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR-Columbus Releases Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices

(COLUMBUS, OH, 9/12/17) -- The Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Columbus) today announced  the release of an Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices.  The guide is part of the Muslim civil rights organization’s anti-bullying campaign and is designed to combat bullying and to help create a more welcoming atmosphere for Muslim students in Ohio’s school districts.

A recent survey conducted by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (IPSU) found that 42 percent of Muslim students in grades K-12 have reported bullying because of their faith.  Even more alarming was the finding that one-in-four bullying incidents of Muslim students involved a teacher or school official.  

SEE: IPSU’s 2017 American Muslim Poll: Key Findings

CAIR-Columbus hopes that its Educator’s Guide will prevent bullying by teachers, and assist schools with recognizing and responding to anti-Muslim incidents in schools.

“This guide is intended to help teachers, administrators and educational staff understand the needs of their Muslim students and families. We believe that education is the most important part of a young person’s life, and we want to help facilitate healthy and supportive classrooms for all students,” said Jennifer Nimer, CAIR-Columbus executive director.

The Educator’s Guide contains information about some common Islamic religious practices such as types of dress, dietary restrictions, daily prayer times, and major holidays. It also explains some of the legal responsibilities of public schools under both Ohio and federal law, and suggests some common ways that Muslim students and families can be accommodated in the classroom.

SEE: CAIR-Ohio Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices 

“Unfortunately, we frequently receive complaints about bullying and denial of accommodations from Muslim students,” Nimer continued. “We are hopeful that this guide will help educators treat all students fairly and ensure their Muslim students are a full and integrated part of the learning environment.”

School districts can request free copies of the guide by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In addition to sending guides to schools that request them, CAIR-Columbus will also be preparing and mailing an Educator’s Guide School District package to school districts throughout Central Ohio.    Community members who would like to sponsor a School District Package can click here to make a donation toward the project.

Parents can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a free copy of the guide to give to their child’s teacher, or pick up a copy of the guide at the following Columbus area mosques: Noor Islamic Cultural Center, Masjid Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, MAS, Abubakr Assidiq Islamic Center, Islamic Center on Broad St, Ahlul Bayt Society, Masjid Ibn Taymiah, Masjid Taqwa, Masjid Salamah, Masjid Namarah, Polaris Masjid, or Masjid Abu Huraira. 

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.  The CAIR-Ohio Affiliate has three chapters  - Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.

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Contact: Jennifer Nimer, Executive Director, 614-451-3232, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Romin Iqbal, Legal Director, 614-783-7953, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR-NY Concerned About NYC Board of Elections' Failure to Establish Mosque Polling Places

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 9/12/17) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed concern that the New York City Board of Election failed to establish any polling places in mosques or Muslim community centers. 

As it was widely reported last year, New York City uses numerous churches and synagogues for polling sites, but not a single Muslim house of worship.

SEE: Why Aren’t There Any Polling Stations in NYC Mosques?

Starting last year, CAIR-NY began a series of meetings with city officials about the matter, including top officials at the Board of Elections. Earlier this year, CAIR-NY recruited five mosques to serve as polling sites, but none were used as polling sites for today’s election. 

CAIR-NY is calling on the Board of Elections to correct this significant oversight in time for next year’s election. The omission comes despite the board’s decision to reallocate more than 20 percent of the city’s polling places for the 2017 election cycle.

SEE: Poll Sites Change for More Than 200,000 NYC Voters

“Welcoming diversity and inclusion in NYC must go further than rhetoric,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “Exerting efforts to ensure every community is civically engaged is a real demonstration of our City's commitment to pluralism. The BOE has this opportunity by utilizing mosques as polling sites, and CAIR-NY will continue to advocate for such measures until it is a reality.”

“Our city’s polling places must represent the diversity of its voters,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “Muslim Americans are one of the fastest growing voting blocks in our city, and we must make sure that our polling places are open and accessible to all. We are grateful to the community leaders who offered to open their spaces on election day, and we only hope their offer is taken-up in the future.”

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, Esq. (917) 669-4006, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn, Esq.  (571) 766-6273, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAIR Welcomes Maryland Attorney General Joining DACA Lawsuit Against Trump Administration

Maryland joins three other states to defend DREAMers

(BALTIMORE, MD, 9/12/17) - The Maryland Outreach Department of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed an announcement by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh that Maryland has joined Maine, Minnesota and California in filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.

SEE: Attorney General Frosh Joins DACA Lawsuit Against Trump Administration  

Frosh joins three other attorneys general in DACA suit

"We applaud Attorney General Frosh's commitment to giving DREAMers the chance to work and study without the threat of deportation while Congress addresses our broken immigration system," said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry. "These young people deserve to live free from the fear and anxiety that forces them live in the shadows of society, unable to contribute to our nation’s economy."

Last week, President Trump authorized U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to formally announce the end in six months the Obama-era program which protected young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation. Nearly one million people are estimated to be directly impacted by this decision. 

The suit is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and argues that the Trump administration's rescinding of DACA violates the U.S. Constitution and federal laws. 

In July, Attorney General Frosh joined nearly two dozen other Attorneys General to send a letter to President Trump urging him to maintain and preserve DACA. 

SEE: 20 Democratic attorneys general urge Trump to keep DACA, say it has boosted economy

CAIR recently issued an action alert urging all Americans to call the White House and demand that the president uphold immigration protections for the 800,000 young people who call the United States home. 

SEE: CAIR Action Alert: Call White House Today - Protect DACA - Support Dreamers

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.       

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CONTACT: CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry, 410-971-6062This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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