Israel is Answer to Riddle behind Circular issued by CBB Governor

2020-09-16 - 2:10 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): As Bahrain Mirror predicted, Bahrain's official policy with its people in terms of normalization with Israel is summed up as follows: trick people into thinking it won't happen, then surprise them.

On August 26, Central Bank of Bahrain governor, Rashid Al-Maraj, issued a strange circular that included threats of punishment and sanctions. It can be clearly said that it is a rare and unique circular, in which Al-Maraj directs all licensed banks and financial institutions in Bahrain to provide financial services without any racial discrimination.

It has been nearly 101 years since the banking sector in Bahrain was founded, and no one has complained before that the services provided by banks and financial companies take into account people's religion, race, or ethnicity.

It is true that the only obvious racism or discrimination in the banking sector is hiring standards, but that is certainly not the reason why Al-Maraj came out with this signed circular.

The circular was issued only in English, and has not been translated, and it was not published by local Arabic-language newspapers. Bahrain Mirror obtained a copy of the circular.

"All licenses are hereby required to ensure that all regulated financial services are provided without any discrimination based on sex, nationality, origin, language, faith, religion, physical disability or marital status," the circular issued on August 26 read.

The governor added that "Failure to comply with the above may subject the licensee and the approved person(s) involved to enforcement measures."

Bahrain Mirror asked a number of employees in the banking sector about the reasons for this circular, and the answer was one word: Israel!

A number of banks in Bahrain were reluctant to accept applications for accounts to be opened by individuals of Israeli nationality, or by Israeli entities, in addition to some Islamic banks operating in Bahrain, a number of which are controlled by figures who are deemed to be affiliated with the "Muslim Brotherhood", and the hesitation and cessation was predominantly the position of the banks, so the circular issued by the Governor of the Central Bank was decisive. The failure to accept any Israeli request from banks is considered a racist position and anyone who fails to abide by this law would receive "punitive measures" as stated in the circular.

This step is a part of a series of steps by the Bahraini authorities to pave the way for all sectors to accept normalization with Israel as a fait accompli, the latest of which was Bahrain's acceptance of the passage of Israeli aircraft over its airspace.

It is noteworthy that Bahrain's banking sector ranks second in the contribution to GDP after oil, contributing to 17% of GDP, achieving an annual growth of about 10%, and employing more than 14,000 people, more than 65% of whom are Bahrainis.

Bahrain is home to 382 financial institutions, including 98 banks and 21 Islamic banks, with total assets of $192 billion.

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