On 21, 22, and 24 July 2014, a number of letters were sent by HSBC Bank UK advising that the business accounts of The Cordoba Foundation and the personal accounts of Mr. Anas Altikriti and members of his family, including two minor children, were being closed without further consultation. A period of two months notice was given in which alternative arrangements were to be made with another bank, as HSBC Bank UK was no longer prepared to offer banking services.
In a number of identical letters received, HSBC Bank UK stated that the it had “recently conducted a review of its portfolio of customers and has concluded that provision of banking services to The Cordoba Foundation UK Ltd. now falls outside of our risk appetite”.
It is with the utmost concern that HSBC Bank UK has taken such an unprecedented course of action. It is quite clear that no prior concerns with the account holders had been identified or raised and it remains unclear as to what precisely has prompted the bank to take this wholly unjustified course of action.
Of particular concern, is the fact that in ordering the closure of the accounts, it will create a ‘black mark’ against those concerned and alternative banking services may be difficult, if not impossible to now source. This in itself has the potential to cause significant damage to reputation.
HSBC Bank UK has refused thus far to provide any reasons whatsoever to justify their decision, simply stating “we have taken the decision that we no longer wish to provide you with banking facilities and are closing your account.” All attempts to contact the Bank through the helpline number provided on the letter have failed. Those persons affected have been confronted with a wall of silence.
It is recognised that the right to withhold banking facilities lies with the institution in question, nevertheless, it is wholly inappropriate that a bank can take such a decision that can have such far reaching consequences, without providing any form of justification or redress.
It is also of significance that the Bank has also made a decision to close accounts associated with a number of other Islamic groups or individuals. Without any real justification being disclosed, there is a clear inference that the Bank is making their decisions on wholly discriminatory grounds, which the Bank recognises is illegal.
HSBC Bank UK is hereby asked to:
1. Provide legitimate reasons for why they have taken the decision to close the accounts of The Cordoba Foundation, Mr. Anas Altikriti;
2. Issue a full and unequivocal apology for any potential damage to reputation;
3. Enter immediate dialogue with Mr. Altikriti and/or his representatives to discuss a solution to the perceived problem(s).
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As thousands converge in Potocari today for the funeral prayers of over 400 bodies and the 19th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, we are once again reminded of the lengths that man could potentially go to when immersed in a state of fear, hatred and division.
The Memorial Day puts to rest any naivety that the lessons of the past have not only been learned, but well and truly headed. Not only are human beings chronically capable of committing the most repugnant of acts against fellow human beings, regardless of the advancement of time, the catalysts for these crimes are invariably similar whatever the different and unique circumstances of each.
The Cordoba Foundation has been working tirelessly to raise awareness of the threat man poses against his fellow man, should particular conditions become established on the ground. Whether Srebrenica, Auswitz, Rwanda, Gaza, Kashmir, Myanmar or Somalia, and whether in the last century, this or the one coming, injustice establishes fear which breads suspicion and ultimately hatred. From there, the move on to violence is neither a difficult nor inconceivable step to undertake. Our objective is to work in common collaboration to remove the very initial elements on that tragic path, and to counter the root causes for clashes based on false and misguided understanding and implementation of the concepts of ‘self’ and ‘the other’.
The Srebrenica Memorial Day provides a timely reminder to us all of the challenges that can only be met in a sense of togetherness and community.
The Cordoba Foundation and Islamic Forum of Europe are issuing this special sermon from the Mufti of Bosnia Herzegovinia on this occasion
Arab Organisation for Human Rights and Palestine Solidarity Campaign
ISRAEL’S “ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION” POLICY AND THE PLIGHT OF PALESTINIANS ON HUNGER STRIKE
Addressing the dire plight of nearly 200 Palestinians in Israeli jails on hunger strike (for over 50 days), protesting against their detention without charge or trial under Israel’s “administrative detention” policy. Shackled, tortured (including sexual), and poor treatment, many are on the verge of death.
This is a call to the international community to give voice to the voiceless and victims of human rights abuses in Israeli jails.
Tuesday 24 June, 2014
The British Library – 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
Nearest tubes: Kings Cross / Euston
Clare Short – Secretary of State for International Development, 1997- 2003.
Sir Gerald Kaufman – Member of Parliament
Toby Cadman – International Criminal Law Specialist.
Victoria Brittain – British journalist; author of Hidden Lives, Hidden Deaths and Death of Dignity.
Sarah Colborne – Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Mohammed Jamil – Director, Arab Organisation for Human Rights (UK)
The Cordoba Foundation convened a timely and important seminar at the Royal Overseas League, Green Park in London, which analysed the British Prime Minister’s decision to conduct a “review” into the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. The seminar examined the motivations and the potential outcomes of the review.
A distinguished panel comprised of Lord Ken Macdonald QC, journalist Peter Oborne, Dr Maha Azzam, Chair of Egyptians for Democracy UK, Mona al-Qazzaz, Muslim Brotherhood spokeswoman and Dr Anas Altikriti, CEO of The Cordoba Foundation, addressed the topic from numerous angles and took questions from the floor.
The packed audience included academics, policy-makers, reporters and journalists, diplomats, campaigners, and faith and community leaders.
A successful seminar on Thursday 20th March 2014 was held at the Queen Mary, University of London as part of the inauguration of Critical Platform, which provides a space for dialogue, debate and networking. Held in partnership with The Cordoba Foundation, the seminar refected on the three years of unprecedented changes in the Middle East and North Africa, ranging from free and fair elections to the violent suppression of change.
Helping shed light on the topic, a distinguished panel comprising of Dr Maha Azzam, chair of Egyptians for Democracy UK; Oliver McTernan, Director of Forward Thinking, and Dr Anas Altikriti, CEO of The Cordoba Foundation addressed the topic from numerous angles and took questions from the foor.