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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,


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