First CAGE, now Muslim organisations have bank accounts closed

Reports that HSBC has closed bank accounts of leading Muslim charities is a worrying development. 

Ummah Welfare Trust, Finsbury Park Mosque and The Cordoba Foundation have all had their accounts closed [1], and like CAGE [2] [3] [4] were offered no explanation for the closure. Another charity, HHUGS also had their accounts closed last month by the Co-Op. [5]

In parallels with the closing of the personal accounts of the individuals linked to CAGE, Anas Al Tikriti, who runs the Cordoba Foundation, has had his own bank accounts closed down as well as those of his wife and two children.

Asim Qureshi, Research Director of CAGE, said:  'There appear to be forces at play that are seeking to cripple organisations at the heart of Muslim community; It smacks of religious discrimination and Islamophobia. Finsbury Park Mosque, The Cordoba Foundation and Ummah Welfare Trust are well established and supported organisations and we can attest to their selflessness, honesty and commitment over the years.

'That organisations that have supported the Palestinian cause should be targeted at a time when Israel is being condemned by the UN and others for targeting a civilian population amid the horrendous death toll in Gaza will only fuel suspicion and outrage.

'In light of the irresponsible comments made by William Shawcross, head of the Charity Commission that Muslim charities had a problem with 'Islamic extremism', it is inevitable that Muslims will perceive this as part of a wider strategy by the Government and the Commission to stamp out critical voices of dissent.

These bank account closures are just the latest in a series of interventions into what some leaders are perceiving as the growing threat of political Islam and appear to be a further step in the War on Terror itself: An investigation was launched by the government into the Muslim Brotherhood back in March; in April, Tony Blair called for an alliance between the West, China and Russia to defeat political Islam; and in June, Abdel Fattah Sisi claimed victory in a presidential election while keeping thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters incarcerated without access to a proper system of justice.