CAIR-NJ: Muslims Decry Closure of Mosque's Account
NEWARK, N.J. - Muslim groups want to know why a North Jersey bank closed an
Islamic Center's bank account.
Hudson United Bank closed the Islamic Educational Center of North Hudson's
account just before last month's hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. That
action created difficulties for Muslims seeking to pay for hotel rooms and
other travel needs, according to Yousef Abdalla, the Union City center's
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a nationwide civil rights group
based in Washington, has written to the bank asking for an explanation of
the closure, but has not received a response.
"The seemingly arbitrary nature of the decision to close the account is of
concern to the Muslim community in New Jersey," said Magdy Mahmoud,
president of the group's New Jersey chapter. "Hudson United Bank should
launch an immediate internal investigation of this incident to eliminate
the possibility that anti-Muslim bias played a role in the decision."
Kenneth T. Neilson, president and CEO of Mahwah-based Hudson United
Bancorp, did not return three messages left with his office seeking comment
since Friday. Likewise, e-mails to the bank's investor relations department
and five senior executives, including Neilson, went unanswered on Tuesday.
In a Dec. 14 letter to the Islamic Center, the bank wrote that it "has
recently performed a review of the above-referenced account and,
unfortunately, will no longer be able to service your financial needs. As
Hudson United Bank reserves the right to close an account at any time, we
are requesting that you provide us with written instructions to transfer
your account within thirty days of the date of this letter."
Abdallah said the bank claimed "there was a discrepancy in the names of one
of the officers." He said that should not justify closing an account for a
center that has "never so much as bounced a check..."
Abdallah said the center transferred its money, totaling about $100,000, to
a different bank that was happy to have its business.
ACTION ALERT: ASK HUDSON UNITED BANK TO PROBE ACCOUNT CLOSURE
Send a POLITE note to Hudson United Bank requesting an investigation into
the closure of the Islamic Educational Center's account.
Mr. Kenneth T. Neilson
President & CEO
Hudson United Bancorp
1000 Macarthur Blvd.
Mahwah, NJ 07430
COPY TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT CAIR-NJ: Sarah Issa, 908-938-5990, E-Mail: email@example.com;
Magdy Mahmoud, 973-785-3050, E-Mail: Magdy@cair-nj.org