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Op-Ed video: As a Muslim who's been debanked, why can't I get the same treatment as Farage?

If the Brexit campaigner can get an explanation for why his bank account was closed and obtain an apology and calls for a public investigation, then I and my family deserve no less, argues columnist Anas Altikriti

Anas Altikriti, the chief executive of the think tank the Cordoba Foundation, is demanding that Muslims receive the same treatment Nigel Farage received from politicians and the banking industry after his account was closed.

Last month, the closure of Farage's bank account was widely covered in the media, with the high net-worth private bank Coutts apologising to the Brexit campaigner for closing his account over his political views.

Over the years, hundreds of individuals, businesses and charities have seen their bank accounts closed without warning, including Altikriti.

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This has not only cost millions of dollars in lost donations and legal fees, but there are also costs in terms of reputation, confidence and the ability to continue functioning. Notably, the overwhelming majority of those closures were accounts held by Muslims.

"Once you don't have banking facilities, it means that you can't work, you can't be employed, you can't pay your taxes, you can't pay your bills, you can't go out for a meal and pay with your credit card," Altikriti said.

"In fact, you won't have a credit card. You can't do the simplest of things."

"What's worse is without an explanation, as to why your bank account has been closed, your adversaries and those who are your critics have open season on you - claiming that, well, bank accounts can only be closed for people who have a criminal record, or those who are murderers, terrorists, money launderers, drug dealers etc," he said.

"Your reputation and the confidence with your clients, with your customers is absolutely shattered."

Anas Altikriti is the CEO & Founder of The Cordoba Foundation, UK. He tweets @anasaltikriti
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