Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Should Muslims do business with Comerica Bank?

Arab groups question bank's action
Comerica to close charity's accounts

November 14, 2006


Comerica Bank plans to terminate on Wednesday the accounts of a Muslim charity headquartered in Southfield that was raided two months ago by federal agents, according to letters the bank sent charity officials.

The move by the private bank against Life for Relief and Development concerns Arab Americans and Muslims in metro Detroit, who note that the Islamic charity has not been charged with a crime.

A vice president with Comerica Bank, Kathy Pitton, said she would not comment about the charity's accounts, but added the bank has the right to terminate any bank account with or without cause.

Federal agents raided the Life for Relief office on Sept. 18, along with the homes and offices of some of the charity's employees, hauling away documents.

The FBI would not say what agents were looking for, but charity officials have said it might be related to relief work the group did in Iraq.

Three days after the raid, Life for Relief officials received a letter from Karen Davis at Comerica Bank, telling them "we are terminating our relationship with you."

The letter, obtained by the Free Press, was addressed to Life for Relief CEO Khalil Jassemm and stated that he had until Oct. 2 to close seven accounts kept by the charity and Jassemm.(MORE)

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