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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.

StopCVE in LA

On January 13, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the City of Los Angeles (Mayor’s Office of Public Safety) was set to receive funding under its Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiative. The City of Los Angeles would receive $400,000 for a program involving “Training and Engagement,” as well as $425,000 for “Managing Interventions.” According to DHS, the stated purpose of the CVE program was to “develop and expand efforts at the community level to counter violent extremist recruitment and radicalization to violence.”

​The #StopCVE coalition in Los Angeles—representing local non-profit, civil society, advocacy, and digital advocacy groups, alongside Muslim leadership from across LA—has been organizing opposition to CVE since April 2016. Though presented under a guise of public safety and community-based programming, CVE efforts in LA have been implemented with selective community engagement and buy-in. This “community engagement” continued despite unanimous opposition from civil rights groups and the majority of Muslim communities across five counties in Southern California.

Soon, the LA City Council will move to discuss disbursing federal funding amounting to , which targets Muslim communities in the city through activities conducted under the auspices of CVE.

Muslim Faith Leaders Arrested – Fighting for Undocumented Immigrants & a Clean DREAM Act

After being arrested today in front Speaker Paul Ryan’s office, Imam Omar Suleiman, a prominent Muslim leader from Dallas, Texas said,

“We cannot let any community suffer in isolation or we will all pay the price.”

After the lapse of the Trump-imposed deadline for Congress to take action regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a diverse group of Muslim faith leaders and activists — representing Black, Latino, Arab, South Asian, and other communities from across the U.S. — demonstrated in Washington, DC to demand that Congress pass a clean Dream Act and protect immigrant youth.

MPower Change, a grassroots Muslim organization with more than 230,000 members, brought the group together. They then joined a rally headlined by United We Dream and a number of immigrant justice and progressive groups, who marched together from the American History Museum to the Capitol Building. At the Capitol, the group participated in an act of civil disobedience at the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan. Several individuals from the group, including imams and MPower Change members, were arrested by Capitol Police after refusing to vacate Paul Ryan’s office until he met with them.

The Muslim faith leaders and MPower Change members called on Congress to move quickly to pass legislation to protect the 800,000 immigrant youth covered by DACA, hundreds of whom face the risk of detention and deportation for every day that Congress fails to act. Imams in the group spoke of the Islamic imperative to protect and provide shelter for migrants. In calling for the nation’s highest values while invoking Islamic scripture, they stood in sharp contrast to the Trump administration’s caricature of Muslims.

Imam Dawud Walid, a leading activist from Detroit, Michigan stated,

“Our faith tradition holds a special status for immigrants who’ve left their lands searching for a better way of life. We call upon Congress to pass legislation to protect DACA recipients under the previous administration from the undue burden of leaving their families and communities which they’ve positively contributed to.”



“Every day, the Trump administration works to divide us,” said MPower Change Executive Director Linda Sarsour. “But what are stronger are the things that unite us: our dreams and our faith. We’re here today to stand with our undocumented sisters and brothers — whether they’re Muslim or from any other background — and demand that Congress pass a clean Dream Act now.”

“When I was only eight years old, I came to the U.S. with my parents as we migrated from Colombia. I’m grateful to God to be standing here at the Capitol today and would like the same opportunity to be given to all Dreamers,”

said Imam Mujahid Fletcher of Houston, Texas, a prominent leader in the Latino Muslim community. “We can’t allow our immigrant youth to be punished and stripped away from the only lives they know — which is right here, in our families and communities, as Americans in America.”

“Deportation of the Dreamers is immoral. If you’re a moral person, you have to stand with the Dreamers,” said Imam Zaid Shakir of Oakland, California.

Senators: Stop Fueling the Saudi-Led War on Yemen

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) just introduced a bipartisan bill to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen—and it’s guaranteed a vote.If we can get this bill passed in the Senate, we can win the biggest human rights victory yet of the Trump presidency. But there’s only a short window of time to act before the Senate takes it up for a vote. Can you sign our petition and tell your Senators to support the Sanders-Lee bill on Yemen? I know you care about the nightmare in Yemen—and the fact that under Trump, U.S. support for the Saudi-led bombings has escalated, while his Muslim Ban has blocked Yemenis from seeking refuge. As each day passes, more and more Yemenis are losing their lives waiting for this war to end. The cholera epidemic and severe food shortages show no signs of slowing down, as the Saudi-led bombings continue.

Tell FCC Chairman Pai: Recuse Yourself

The FCC Inspector General’s investigation into your dealings with Sinclair Broadcast Group—which follows a lengthy trail of decisions designed specifically to facilitate the company’s merger—leaves no doubt that you are not acting in the interests of the public. We demand that you recuse yourself from decisions surrounding the proposed merger between Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media Services, along with any proceedings before the FCC that would have an impact on Sinclair’s ability to execute the merger.