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IBB to close Interpal account

Thursday November 13 2008

The Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) has under pressure from its clearing bank, Lloyds TSB, been forced to cease all dealings with Interpal and will close the charity’s bank account as of 8 December 2008.

UPDATE ADDED – 19 Nov.

IBB has expressed full support for Interpal but is powerless to ignore the instructions it has been issued and which will devastate the charity’s humanitarian work.

Interpal successfully fought a libel case against the Board of Deputies of British Jews in 2006 after a two year battle. The Board had accused the charity of being a ‘terrorist organisation’. This new setback will have disastrous consequences for the charity’s work in providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in desperate need.

Interpal is a registered charity in the UK. No explanation has been given for this action by Lloyds TSB and Interpal’s work is under threat of closure unless the decision is reversed.

Interpal has requested the support of Muslims and non Muslims that have defended the charity’s work for Palestinians to speak out against this draconian move. Address your letters to:

Islamic Bank of Britain plc,
Edgbaston House,
3, Duchess Place,
Hagley Road,
BIRMINGHAM,
B16 8NH.

Bulat Betalgiry,
Lloyds TSB Bank plc,
1st Floor,
25, Gresham Street,
LONDON,
EC2V 7HN.

UPDATE:

The pro-Israeli blog Harry’s Place catches on to the threatened closure by IBB of Interpal’s bank account.

David Toube writes that ‘Interpal spends much of its time and money suing anybody (except Panorama) who suggests that it has any link with Hamas. Therefore it is quite impossible to discuss why it is that LloydsTSB might have taken this action.’

Toube doesn’t mention, not surprisingly, that the libel cases Interpal has pursued against for example, the Sunday Telegraph and the Board of Deputies of British Jews have been successful.  Both the ST and the Board issued publicly apologies for inferring that Interpal was linked to Hamas or to terrorism.

The Board acknowledged in its statement of apology:

‘We referred to “terrorist organisations such as Hamas and Interpal”. We would like to make it clear that we should not have described Interpal in this way and we regret the upset and distress our item caused.’

So if you stay on the side of facts, discussion on why Lloyds TSB has taken this action is not impossible at all. 

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