(NEW YORK, N.Y., 8/12/2019) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, and the Tariq Law Firm today announced the filing of a federal discrimination lawsuit against Citibank for closing, without justification, credit and bank accounts of a Muslim customer.
According to the lawsuit, Citibank closed Mohammed Ahmed’s, an American-Muslim of Bangladeshi descent, bank accounts around March 4, 2019, without providing any reasons for the closure. The following week, Citibank closed Ahmed’s credit card accounts. When Ahmed requested an explanation for the closures, Citibank refused to provide one.
SEE #BankingWhileMuslim Lawsuit: Koysor v. Citibank
The lawsuit was filed on August 1, 2019 and is part of the #BankingWhileMuslim campaign to end discriminatory policies by banks and other financial institutions. Ahmed is suing for violations of federal, state, and city anti-discrimination laws.
The lawsuit comes after years of discriminatory banking practices targeting Muslims.
Last month, CAIR-NY filed a discrimination complaint against Citibank for refusing to open a savings account once Citibank learned of the beneficiary’s Arabic name.
Subhan Tariq of The Tariq Law Firm stated:
“Unfortunately, this is part of a growing trend we are seeing in the last number of years. We call on the Department of Justice to do a thorough inquiry of the underlying circumstances that have led to numerous Muslims being de-banked by the largest banking and financial institutions in our country.”
Ahmed Mohamed, CAIR-NY Litigation Director stated:
“Closing bank accounts on the basis of nationality or religion is illegal. Citibank must do the right thing and stop its discriminatory practice of singling out American Muslims. ‘Banking while Muslim’ is not crime. If Citibank and other financial institutions continue to discriminate, we will be there to hold them accountable.”
Mohamed noted that CAIR-NY has documented a pattern of banking discrimination targeting Muslims and individuals of Arab ancestry.
ALERT: CAIR-NY is in the process of collecting data for its #BankingWhileMuslim campaign. If you have faced discrimination at a bank or had a bank or credit account closed without justification or explanation, please tell us your story by taking our banking while Muslim survey at www.cair-ny.org/bankingwhilemuslim or by going to social media (Facebook; Twitter; Instagram) and sharing your story using the #BankingWhileMuslim.
New Yorkers may also contact CAIR-NY for assistance by filing an incident report online at www.cair-ny.org/incident-report or by calling 646-665-7599.
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
The Tariq Law Firm is a consumer rights law firm committed to protecting average consumers from unfair and unethical treatment.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.