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Credit union turns down application for account with 'Islam' in name

32 Comments

A credit union in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, has turned down an application for a new account with the word "Islam" in the account name.

The Numazu Credit Union denied 66-year-old Kaniro Saito's application to open an account after bank personnel noted that the account name was listed as "The Japan Friends of Islam Society," TV Asahi reported Tuesday.

On Feb 24, Saito phoned the bank in order to open his account and proceeded to follow the automated prompts, answering basic questions regarding his account name, organization/corporate name, phone number attached to the account, and address. After providing his answers, he received a response several minutes later, "We are sorry, but you will be unable to open an account at our bank."

Saito works as a professor of Arabic language studies at a university in Japan, and writes a blog that focuses on current events in Middle Eastern countries.

A credit union spokesman was quoted as saying: "Not only did his account name include the word 'Islam,' but we could not determine whether or not Mr Saito's organization would be used to secretly send money to fund the radical efforts of groups like Islamic State. As such, we had to make a judgment call and decided to turn his offer down."

Saito told media, "Well, with all the news about Islamic State floating around as of late, I suppose these bank officials and everyone else hold a prejudice against all followers of or those interested in Islam. It's a real shame."

After Saito's case was made public, the National Credit Union Association told the press that it is continually working together with individual branches across the nation to help combat potential schemes to fund international terrorism through money laundering and other illegal activities.

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32 Comments
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Ah Japan. On the one hand, you have a large corporation openly engaging in racist profiling but doing so with the coginitive reasoning abilities of a 5 year old.

On the other, you have the victim shrugging it off with a "shoganai".

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

Who would have thought that Japan could become the hotbed of Islamic terrorist funding......

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

whether or not Mr Saito’s organization would be used to secretly send money to fund the radical efforts of groups like Islamic State.

But luckily the Sherlock Holmes of credit unions noticed the fatal flaw in the potential terrorist's plan - putting "Islam" in the title. Master criminals always make one tiny slip that gives the game away!

17 ( +20 / -3 )

I got turned down 3 times by major JP banks trying to open a Japanese company account for a Japanese registered company, its nothing new.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Also add "Rahman", "Ahmed", "Mohammad" etc. to the list.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Good old racism and profiling, plain and simple. Two steps back and already far behind.

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

This has nothing to do with racism and profiling. It is a positive step for the bankers not to be intimidates by the Islamic religion.

3 ( +18 / -15 )

Good. A name like that is just a giant red flag. Besides, as a private bank, they are under no obligation and can refuse customers if they want, just like a bar or a coffeeshop can.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Blatantly racist but understandable.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Here we go again! BTW Iwandadabaka --it is totally not understandable. Racism never is.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Do they really think someone that put Islam in bank account name is going to collect or send fund to terrorists ?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I am sorry but do not see racism here. It is an objection to the culture of most in the middle east who have shown little value for life. I think the bank wishes to protect life where they have the ability to do so.

Do you wish to open the door to finance of organizations that murder people of all races and ethnic origins ?

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Well, if I ran that bank, I would have denied that account being opened as well. Who in their right mind would want to associate their business with ANYTHING to do with Islam when there appears to be NO flexibility in that religion to 'turn the other cheek' so to speak?

What happens if some Islamic zealot takes offence to a Japanese national using the name of Islam for that bank account and attacks that bank because it harbours that account. Think that logic is a tad extreme? Clearly by non-Islamic logic it is but from what we've all seen of late... IT COULD VERY WELL HAPPEN.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Saito just wanted some attention or was trying to see what the reaction would be. If his organization really were funding the evil I.S. they would never have chosen the name for the account as reported.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Private bakls have right to refuse any applicants. Not racism but which Japanese laws prohibit racism? Japan hasn't complained any books that state Japanese belong to Mongoloid race.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Nothing racist whatsoever about it. You aren't born a muslim. You are indoctrinated. And why do muslims need donations as opposed to any other religion? Are there any other religious organizations that are using their donations to fund terrorism? Japan is wise to take a wide berth from anything associated with such an ideology

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

This is not unique to Japan. UK and US banks have also been closing accounts of Mosques and Islamic charities. It's a risk for banks because they could be barred from doing business with any US banks if they are found to have laundered money for terrorist groups.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28553921

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The guy trying to open the account was Japanese. Racism is an inaccurate word. People that call this racism rather didn't read the whole article or don't understand what racism is. Prejudice is a perfectly acceptable word for what is going on here. Whether it is justified or unjustified prejudice is not my point. But it is not racism.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

why do muslims need donations as opposed to any other religion? Are there any other religious organizations that are using their donations to fund terrorism?

I never yet met a religion that spurned donations; some religions, eg. the Church of Latter-Day Saints, require their members to pay an annual tithe.

During the Troubles, Americans happily donated money 'to aid the families of political prisoners' in Northern Ireland; the money was actually used to buy arms and explosives for use by IRA terrorists.

So yes, other religious organisations do need/request/welcome/insist on donations, and yes, there are/have been other religious organisations that use/used their donations to fund terrorism.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

descendentMar. 03, 2015 - 05:14PM JST

Ah Japan. On the one hand, you have a large corporation openly engaging in racist profiling but doing so with the coginitive reasoning abilities of a 5 year old.

On the other, you have the victim shrugging it off with a "shoganai".

@descendent: It's called "Wa", and like it or not, it's the mentality of most Japanese people. A good way of saying it would be "...a peaceful unity and conformity within a social group, in which members prefer the continuation of a harmonious community over their personal interests" (from Wiki). A bad way to say it would be "the nail that sticks out gets hammered"...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Islam has given so much trouble to everyone recently, has been the reason for so much violence that it's understandable why people are afraid.

That's basically the same reason the Americans gave when they interned the Japanese during WW2.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If the name of the group had been, "Enemies of Islam," would everything have gone through okay? Or how about, "Bakery of Islam," which doesn't offer a position one way or another?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't like Islam religion in itself (personal opinion) but I will struggle to make respect people of that faith since it is just one among others. This is called "human rights". Zealots are found everywhere and until proven guilty, you are innocent. Of course, what I say above is not followed by most Japanese so it is cultural again.

Very dangerous game to ostracize without rule a religion though...Christians forgive but do not forget, didn't you learn that Japan ? LOL

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

A Credit Union is not usually international , as far as the ones in the U.S.,not. I think this guy just went in to get a rise out of the place. Friends of Islam? with "friends like that who needs enemies!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Very logical and reasonable, those aid organisations very often are involved in that sort of behaviour and its only logical measure, there is nothing racist about it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I would think that... before he could go to the bank the organization must have been registered and approved in Japan as a non-profit company. Did he do that first?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

ISIS is desperate for money after the coalition is bombarding them wherever they are found and have no scruples. If there is no watch, Japan is next.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We assign such good behavior to terrorists. Do you think terrorists will slice someone's head off, but won't lie? I mean, really, Joe Terrorist wants aid contributions - do you think he would call his charity, "Friends of Islam?" No, he would call it, "Puppy Support Group," or "Friends of Books." Meanwhile, "Friends of Islam" is more likely to be run by the CIA.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

descendentMar. 03, 2015 - 05:14PM JST

Ah Japan. On the one hand, you have a large corporation openly engaging in racist profiling but doing so with the coginitive reasoning abilities of a 5 year old.

On the other, you have the victim shrugging it off with a "shoganai".

Yep, there's the typical Western, bleeding heart social justice warrior at work. It's not the company with the reasoning abilities of a 5 year old is you buddy. Similar Islamic organisations around the world which seemingly operate as 'friendship associations' and 'charitable organisations' have been caught out funnelling money to terrorist groups in the past. Glad the Japanese aren't adhering to the hand wringing political correctness which is crippling and eroding the West from the inside out.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So yes, other religious organisations do need/request/welcome/insist on donations, and yes, there are/have been other religious organisations that use/used their donations to fund terrorism. Apologize all you like for these goons. Their behaviour and ideology is an abomination for what we should consider a humane and civilized world

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

veejay, I don't see where you could read any kind of 'apology' for 'these goons' anywhere in my post? You asked two questions, which I answered: why do muslims need donations as opposed to any other religion? - All religions accept/ask for/demand donations, not just Islam. Are there any other religious organizations that are using their donations to fund terrorism? - Yes there are. Doesn't make it right, whoever does it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Great. Let's be diplomatic and open-minded about all religions and yet at the same time we turn a blind eye to the one religion where cutting off peoples heads and defacing art is part of "god"'s word. You are ever so accommodating but if someone you knew personally were brutally murdered would you you be so ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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