CAIR-MN Protests Closures Of Muslims' Bank Accounts

MN-bank-closuresBy Katie Rucke, MintPress News

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.-- For years, Twin Cities' residents who identify as members of the Islamic community say they have had their bank accounts closed unnecessarily and without reason by the Minneapolis-based TCF Financial Corp.

In one case, an American citizen -- born and raised in Minneapolis -- had his bank account closed, along with his sister's account. The client used the account he opened in 2002 for his dental practice.

He reportedly did not have any international transactions on his account, nor did he ever bounce a check or fail to keep a minimum balance. But he says that didn't stop TCF from issuing a letter notifying him that the bank was "exercising its right under the terms of your account contract to discontinue our banking relationship."

CAIR-MN says it first got involved after it was reported in January 2013 that several Iranian students at the University of Minnesota had their accounts closed.

As the group's Civil Rights Director Saly Abd Alla told MintPress, "None of these individuals have been charged with any crimes or engaged in any transaction that violates U.S. law. The only thing these individuals have in common, aside from TCF abruptly and without explanation closing their bank accounts, is that they have Muslim names.

"All of the clients are American citizens," she added. "Some are converts to Islam, others were born into a Muslim family; they are various ages and professions; different ethnicities and races."

Concerned that the accounts were closed not because these individuals had negative transactions or suspicious activity on their accounts, but solely because the individuals identified with the Islamic community, CAIR-MN wrote a letter to TCF Bank. (Read more)