Banking Behemoth Closes Muslim Organizations' Accounts

October 14, 2020 0 By JohnValbyNation

Muslim community leaders in the UK are calling banking giant HSBC ‘Islamaphobic’ after they received letters telling them that their banking services will be terminated in September.

Three organizations—The Cordoba Foundation, the Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT), and the Finsbury Park Mosque—have all received nearly identical letters (pdf) from the bank, and two of them believe the cause may be their support of Palestine.

The letters said that the groups fall ‘outside’ of the bank’s ‘risk appetite’, but gave no further reason for the termination of service.

“For us it is astonishing – we are a charity operating in the UK, all our operations are here in the UK and we don’t transfer any money out of the UK. All our operations are funded from funds within the UK,” Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, told the BBC.

“There’s absolutely no reason given,” said Khalid Oumar, the mosque’s trustee. “We want to make sure HSBC is absolutely ashamed of what we believe is an Islamophobic campaign against Muslim organizations.”

Until 2005 the mosque was headed by radical cleric Abu Hamza, who was convicted of terrorism-related charges in the U.S. this past May, but in the past ten years has made an intensive effort to improve its public image. The local MP Jeremy Corbyn said on Wednesday that it is a “superb example of a community mosque,” and he is “appalled at the decision.”

Anas Altikriti, chief executive of the Cordoba Foundation, believes the reason for the notice is not just Islamaphobia, but rooted in a direct political agenda.

“When you are left with no explanation, you are left to speculate,” said Altikriti. “I would speculate that it is because of my activism either for Gaza or for the Palestinians. I have also been vocal in my attacks on the governments of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates regarding their stand on the military coup in Egypt.”