Believer’s Bail Out Featured in the Chicago Tribune
Last week, the first Believers Bail Out bond was posted to free a father of four from Cook County Jail. We are honored to be partnering with Sapelo Square: An Online Resource on Black Muslims in the U.S., MPower Change, Sirat Chicago and more on this important campaign.
“The effort has served to galvanize the Muslim community around a broader push in the United States to curb a prison population that remains the highest in the world, despite declines in recent years. It has been a rare source of agreement for conservative and liberal advocates and has gained momentum in other religious circles as well.
“Bail out is the tactic, it’s not the endgame,” said Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, 39, a founder of the campaign. “The endgame is to get rid of money bonds and mass incarceration. This is one way to immediately help people, but to get the broader Muslim community more deeply engaged with the issues around mass incarceration.”
During Ramadan, expected to end as early as Friday after a sighting of the new moon, Muslims are expected to abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours as a sign of patience and piety. They also are encouraged to step back from their daily routines and focus on “zakat,” or charity. Organizers spent the last 29 days hosting teach-ins and iftars to raise awareness about the struggle for detainees who can’t afford the money bonds required to go back to their jobs or families before their trials. According to the Maryland-based Pretrial Justice Institute, more than 60 percent of people in U.S. jails have not yet been to trial. About 90 percent of them remain there because they can’t afford their bail.”