Believers Bail Out

Right now, there are over 2 million incarcerated people in the United States, predominantly Black and Latinx. Almost half a million of these people are being held on pretrial bond (bail); cash bail penalizes poverty and reproduces racism. In 2015, nationwide the median bail was $10,000, while the median pre-incarceration annual income of people incarcerated was $15,000. Black people are twice as likely to be held pretrial as white people and 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).

Believers Bail Out is a community-led effort to bail out Muslims in pretrial incarceration as a form of zakat. By paying bond, Believers Bail Out restores the presumption of innocence before trial and enables recipients to remain free while fighting their cases. It is in our capacity, and our duty as Muslims to be a part of ending this cycle that criminalizes poverty and is inherently racist in nature.

Through an outpouring of community support and Zakat donations during the month of Ramadan, the Believers Bail Out campaign has already helped families reunite.

Kifah Stone
Kifah Stone

Kifah Shah is MPower Change’s Digital Campaign Manager. She grew up in Southern California and has been organizing since she was 15. She has worked for the Asian Law Caucus, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, Unite HERE! Local 11, and UC Berkeley’s Multicultural Community Center. Kifah also worked abroad in Europe at the Migration Policy Group on issues related in migration, as well as in Pakistan at the Aman Foundation/USAID on issues of health, education, and economic empowerment. She is currently a TED Resident and on the Board of Trustees for MSA West. Kifah holds a Masters in Public Administration (Economic Policy) from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies from U.C. Berkeley.

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