Netherlands: Muslims subjected to ‘structural discrimination’ by banks, institutions

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

GENEVA (AA):  Muslims are “structurally” discriminated against by banks and financial institutions in the Netherlands, mostly as a result of the law to stop money laundering and terrorism funding, according to the national coordinator against discrimination and racism.

Rabin Baldewsingh told Dutch daily Trouw on Thursday that he receives extra signals from Muslims who were discriminated against, especially during Ramadan due to obligatory almsgiving in Islam and collection of charity money to help the less fortunate.

“Then they are bombarded by compliance departments of banks who designated them as suspects of money laundering or terrorism,” Baldewsingh said. “Then they must demonstrate how they got that money before the transaction is processed.”

He called for an investigation into this.

One of the instances the coordinator cited in Trouw concerns a businessman whose surname is a popular one in Pakistan and coincides with one of Al-Qaeda’s affiliates. On the funding application for a new restaurant, he had to respond to further inquiries, he said.

“As far as I am concerned, the Ministry of Finance must take responsibility. They impose this law on financial institutions, but it is used in an improper way,” he said and urged the government to see how big the problem is and talk to financial institutions.

[Netherlands Map from CIA Factbook/Public Domain]

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