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bendigo muttaween

bendigo3Bendigo Bank and Virtue
Bret Harte

The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice is better known as the Muttaween – the religious police.

Their manual is the source of the Bendigo Bank’s programs – no one must breathe a word about Islam unless it is extolling and praising it.

The Muttaween are big on discrimination.

So is the Bendigo Bank, that is why they discriminated against a customer who had views on things different to theirs .

But whereas the Muttaween can do as they please in Saudi Arabia, Bendigo Bank has a problem…

Discrimination is basically against the law in Australia.

And refusing a service because a customer is making a perfectly legal objection to the building of a mosque sounds very much like the sort of thing the Victorian Financial Ombudsman Service would like to get its hands on.

You see, the Bendigo Bank, like all banks, has a contract with its customers and that contract spells out in eye-rolling detail what the bank will do and won’t do in various events; mostly dealing with fraud or death or insufficient funds.

And there is nothing in the various contracts that the customers have to be supporters of multi-culturalism, or be strong supporters of diversity.

And in a particular case, much milder than this, the Ombudsman told a bank had to hand over $9000 for suspending an account, because the customer had not been advised beforehand that the bank could do such a thing in the particular circumstances of the case.

Bendigo might be safer if they had a clause in the contract like, “The Bendigo Bank reserves the right to behead any customer who insults Islam, and the right to cut the hand of anyone stealing from the Bendigo Bank”. Legally, that might just get through as the customer was aware of it before he opened his account.

Of course, imposing virtuous behaviour on people is a world wide trend and Bendigo Bank is nothing if not trendy.

Say you’re in the British Library, say you want to read an article on whether Turco-Iranian friendship is real in the “Middle East Quarterly”. You type in MEForum.org and get the following result:
bendigo 2So, you have had your wrist slapped a la Bendigo bank for intolerance and it is a wasted morning but wait; say you decide to look up anti-semitic sites.

No problem, plenty of sites available at the British Library. The British Library only censors sites that are critical of Islam, but anti-semitic sites? Well….

Exposing the Holocaust Hoax Archive, Jew Knowledge (All about Jewish control of Hollywood, Jewish connections to 9/11,…), Muslim Public Affairs Committee, UK (antisemitic jihad).

Not strong enough? How about sites that promote hatred of Jews? Or are pro-terrorist? Try:-
Al Muntada; Anjem Choudary; FiSyria; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

There are even sites promoting the writings of Osama Bin Laden.

Multiculturalism is a one way street? Well, one might say, the Brits are loonies anyway. Forget them. But why is a home-grown Australian bank knocking off the account of home grown Australians just because they are opposed to mosque building?

It is because Bendigo Bank no longer thinks of itself as a bank but instead regards itself as an apostle of social change, as a zealot for the promotion of virtue, as a divine flail for those given to vice?

As the Muttaween Bank of Australia?

Since this article was published the British Library have unblocked the Middle East Forum website, claiming that it was an error. Apparently it was a contagious “error” as it affected websites other than the Middle East Forum. Bendigo Bank however have repeated that they will close the site opposing the mosque.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Likeatreat 10/04/2014, 10:30 am

    I did email Bendigo when this story first appeared, I have had no reply, not even an automated one. I am making an appointment with my local manager to discuss service. I will then lay a copy of the original article on his desk and ask for a reaction. I am prepared to wait while he phones Victoria if necessary.

  • Peter 10/04/2014, 5:34 pm

    The stupidity of the bank in this issue is beyond belief. The problem most likely could have been solved from the bank’s point by simply having the bank’s logo removed from the Stop The Mosque Facebook page, but no, the bank just closed the account.

    It is the bank’s actions – not those of any other person or entity – that has caused this outburst of backlash against the Bendigo Bank.

    The bank has now painted itself into a corner from which it is almost impossible to escape.

    The entire affair has demonstrated just how out of touch with their customers banks are, and not just this one.

    If the Bendigo Bank thought the Stop The Mosque people were the ones who were going to get hurt they were seriously mistaken.

    The reputation of the Bendigo Bank – fought for and hard won by its legendary founder Rob Hunt – has just gone right down the sewer.

    The stink however will remain.

  • Leann 12/04/2014, 1:21 pm

    why is it they can say anything about US Australians but once we say something we believe they call us Racist . Well if you don’t like us don’t come into our country and tell us how to live , go away . and Bendigo Bank should be ashamed of its self for putting these vile people over the Australians .

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