Dozens in the US have received notices that their bank accounts have been closed, without explanation. Some say the banks are trying to eliminate risk, but a Muslim civil rights group suspects racist policies and has complained to the Justice Department.
The letters have been sent to business owners, nonprofits, and students across the country, according to reports. However, no explanation has been provided in any of the notices.
Last year, reports surfaced that Iranian students studying at the University of Minnesota had their accounts closed. Now banks appear to be closing the accounts of people who have connections to Kuwait and Syria.
Florida businessman Sofian Zakout had barely opened his new accounts at Chase Bank when he received a letter stating that both his personal and business accounts were being closed, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“To shut me down — this is not good,” Zakout told the Times. “This kind of prejudice is not acceptable.”
Zakout runs American Muslims for Emergency and Relief Inc., which has helped victims of Hurricane Katrina, as well as the civil war in Syria.
“Usually nonprofit and charitable organizations are scared to publicize such things,” he told the Times of the account closures. “I’m not going to be quiet. I don’t want to see this happening to anyone again.”