(London, UK) 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 , and like CAGE    were offered no explanation for the closure. Another charity, HHUGS also had their accounts closed last month by Barclays. 
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.
1. Information on the recent spate of bank account closures at these organisations can be accessed here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28553921
2. CAGE (formerly known as CagePrisoners) is an independent advocacy organisation that works to empower communities affected by the War on Terror and to highlight abuses of due process.
3. This article by Peter Oborne of the Daily Telegraph details the closing of CAGE's bank accounts: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100279865/if-cage-has-broken-the-law-let-it-be-prosecuted-this-reeks-of-the-police-state/
4. A press briefing on the closure of CAGE's bank accounts is available on request. Please contact us on the details below if you would like to interview a member of CAGE's staff on this topic.
5. Information on the closure of HHUGS bank accounts can be read here: http://hhugs.org.uk/follow-the-courageous-stance-of-the-sahabah-this-ramadan-/514
Contact: Mr Amandla Thomas-Johnson
Phone: +(44) 207 377 6700
27 Old Gloucester Street
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)