CAIR Urges American Muslims to Participate in Survey on Bank Account Closures
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/24/16) - The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is urging American Muslims who had their bank accounts closed suddenly and without any explanation to participate in a national survey on that issue.
While CAIR is aware that bank account closures are affecting other communities, it continues to see a disproportionate number of these closures negatively impacting members of the American Muslim community.
Closures have occurred at almost every banking institution, including Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo. CAIR believes these closures may not be isolated incidents, but instead a pervasive systematic issue that lacks documentation and is in need of redress.
When Muslim community members have inquired as to why their accounts are being closed, they receive only vague answers or are provided no information of any kind.
CAIR suspects otherwise normal day-to-day banking activity, such as moving funds to different accounts, wiring money overseas, making several withdrawals and deposits in a short period of time, selling items online, or even a bad credit history, may be the cause for some accounts closures.
Under federal law, banks are legally responsible for ensuring that accounts are not being misused to fund domestic or foreign criminal or terrorist groups or activities. Instead of monitoring the accounts of all clients, CAIR believes that many banks may be religiously and ethnically profiling Muslim account holders and closing their accounts in a discriminatory manner.
In order to better understand this somewhat recent phenomenon of banks closing American Muslim accounts, CAIR has developed a survey to determine how banks are penalizing the lawful activities of Muslims and whether or not banks are targeting American Muslims with discriminatory account closure policies.