Islamaphobia behind the harassment and intimidation of a British charity

The British Muslim Initiative condemns unconditionally the move by Lloyds TSB to force the Islamic Bank of Britain to close the account of the British charitable organisation INTERPAL.

While on the outside, this appears like another misguided knee-jerk premature reaction in response to the pressures of the anti-Palestine Zionist lobby, a closer inspection offers the suggestion that this is a gross example of Islamaphobia at work.

What gives the right to Lloyds TSB, recently bailed out by hundreds of millions of pounds of British Tax-payers cash including Muslims, to use such outrageous bully tactics with a smaller British bank forcing it to close down the accounts of a British charitable organisation, is beyond comprehension, unless one begins to see that the smaller bank in question is the Islamic Bank of Britain, and the charity is one that has been working for over a decade to alleviate the suffering of and providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

At a time when the British economy is at risk of collapse, and the need for foreign investment and the confidence of investors both at home and overseas is pressing, this move tarnishes the image of British fair play and erodes the confidence of potential stakeholders in our banking sector.

The Prime Minister’s comments during his recent tour of Arab and Muslim countries in order to solidify our economy and strengthen the positions of our banks, including Lloyds TSB, could not have made a stronger case for this particular objective.

Mohammed Sawalha, President of BMI commented on this decision last week stating: “We are still hopeful that Lloyds TSB will re-address this decision, and allow the re-instatement of INTERPAL accounts with the Islamic Bank of Britain.”

British Muslim Initiative, 19 November 2008