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Organized by Believers Bail Out

Believers Bail Out: Give Zakat to Bail Out Incarcerated Muslims

$246,179

raised of $250,000 USD goal

2338 supporters, Project Closed
Success!

Impact: United States

Zakat-verified fundraiser.

Registered 501(c)(3)

Verification in progress. Learn More

This campaign will collect all funds raised by May 12, 2023 at 3:45 PM EDT

This Ramadan, use your zakat to bail out Muslims from jail and ICE detention to build a movement to end incarceration!


Believers Bail Out is a community-led effort to use Zakat to bail out Muslims in pre-trial and ICE incarceration. By paying bonds, we free believers who cannot afford bail and reunite them with their families. They can then fight their cases with community support, outside the jail. Bail bonds criminalize poverty and are inherently racist in nature. It is our duty as Muslims to end this unjust cycle. 

This campaign is ZAKAT ELIGIBLE. By donating to this campaign you will be fulfilling your Zakat obligations InshAllah.

The Qur’an (9:60) specifies eight uses for zakat. Zakat can be used to help the poor (al-fuqara), the needy (al-masakin), the debt-ridden (al-gharimin), and the wayfarer (ibn al-sabil), and to free slaves or captives (al-raqib). People being held in pretrial or immigration incarceration who can’t afford bail qualify for zakat. 

WHAT WE DO

Our goal this Ramadan is to: 

  • Raise $250,000

In order to:

  • Free 50 believers from pretrial and immigration incarceration in 2023
  • Expand our bailout & post-bond support work throughout the United States
  • Educate Muslims on how the prison industrial complex, anti-Muslim racism, and anti-blackness are connected in order to mobilize our communities.
     

The Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act plans to eliminate cash bail across the state of Illinois. Although its implementation has currently been paused and is being reviewed by the Illinois Supreme Court, support for the Pretrial Fairness Act remains strong and is anticipated to go through inshallah. We are planning for a future in which we will expand the number of bailouts in other states as well as bailouts from ICE detention. For more information on the legal challenges of the Pretrial Fairness Act, learn more here

Along with providing bail and support for individuals released on bond in Chicago, IL, Believers Bail Out also hosts fundraising iftars, webinars, and teach-ins to support legislative efforts (like the Pretrial Fairness Act in IL) to abolish money bond and to raise awareness within Muslim communities on the injustices of the bail bond system and the broader prison-industrial complex. 

 

WHY BAIL OUT BELIEVERS? 

Right now, there are over 2.3 million incarcerated people in the United States, disproportionately Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people. Almost half a million of these people are being held on pre-trial bond (bail). Nationwide the median bail is $10,000, which is the equivalent of 8 months income for a typical defendant being held pretrial. Black people are 25-50% more likely to be held pretrial as white people. Muslims in pretrial detention face an increased risk of victimization, surveillance and denial of religious freedom in the prison system due to anti-Muslim racism (Islamophobia).

While we’ve been taught we will be “innocent until proven guilty,” the reality is that people who cannot afford to pay bond can be jailed indefinitely in pre-trial incarceration. While incarcerated, they can lose their jobs, custody of their children, homes, and even their lives.

In addition to the over 2.3 million people incarcerated in jails and prisons, tens of thousands of people are being held in immigration incarceration in ICE facilities on a daily basis. Any non-citizen without legal status who comes to the attention of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) can be incarcerated for deportation proceedings. Lawful permanent residents who have been charged with criminal offenses and all undocumented people can also be incarcerated by ICE. Many of them are asylum seekers, fleeing from violence in their home countries. Often, immigrants are incarcerated by ICE after arrest by local law enforcement, regardless of the severity of the alleged offense. People whose criminal or misdemeanor charges are dropped can still be held in ICE incarceration for their immigration case. 

Similar to the criminal legal system, while incarcerated, many immigrants lose their jobs, housing and custody of their children -- in addition to enduring the hardship of incarceration. While people facing jail time for criminal charges have the right to a lawyer, immigrants in incarceration may never speak to legal counsel. It is extremely difficult for immigrants to find representation from behind bars. Immigrants who get out are five times more likely to find a lawyer; and immigrants with legal counsel are twice as likely to win their cases.

 

GET INVOLVED

 

Join us in the fight to abolish the carceral system! See how you can be involved with Believers Bail Out: http://believersbailout.org

Interested in joining BBO as a volunteer? Fill out this form here: BBO Volunteer Form

If you work with a community bail fund in another city and want to partner with BBO, please email believersbailout@gmail.com. We are always looking for partners to expand bail outs in other cities! 

Please support our work and consider ways to extend our work into your own communities. Paying bonds is one small thing we can do, because not being in a cage is always better than being in one, but our ultimate goal must be prison abolition and the building of community infrastructures that respond to the call of our Lord - for the righteous believers “to feed for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive” (Qur’an 76:8)



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