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Sat 31 Aug 2013 11:12 AM

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Muslim family furious after gifted hamper of wine

British family was sent haul by lender HSBC as intended goodwill gesture - report

Muslim family furious after gifted hamper of wine

A British Muslim family was left furious after they were gifted a hamper of wine and alcohol-infused jam by their bank, it has been reported.

According to the London-based Wimbledon Guardian, Waqar Basit received the haul from lender HSBC as a goodwill gesture after the self-styled ‘world’s local bank’ mistakenly made charges to his account.

The wine was sent by HSBC during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which the Basits said was doubly offensive.

"My wife took the package and opened it up in front of my father and my mother and when she opened it was a basket with a red and white wine and some other boxes of jam and things,” Basit told the newspaper. "My father just looked at my wife and just thought what had she ordered?”

Basit said that the bank should have called them beforehand to check that the gifts were appropriate. Muslims abstain from alcohol as part of their religious practice.

"HSBC sent Mr Basit a hamper as a goodwill gesture, although the hamper was predominantly filled with biscuits, cakes and jams, we should have sent an alternative gift as it also contained some wine,” the bank responded in a statement. "This was clearly inappropriate and we have apologised to Mr Basit for the offence caused."

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Rafiq A. Tschannen 6 years ago

If you live in the West you have to compromise a bit. The intention of the gift was positive. That should be appreciated. I received such gifts also in the past. I said 'thanks a lot' and passed it on to someone who appreciated it.

HD_dxb 6 years ago

"Left furious"?! Yes I agree completely with Rafiq. My family would have done the same thing, just pass the gift along to another family or friends who weren't muslims. There is no need to make such a big deal out of a positive thing as a gift. In many countries they dont take note of your religion, its even frowned upon so its understandable that this can happen.

Zaffer Karimjee 6 years ago

Rafiq Tschannen, I am sorry I cannot agree with you. Why should religious principles be compromised just because one lives in the West? The bank should have known it better since they claim in their advertisement, that they are "your local bank"!!!With data available to a bank, they should have known immediately the account holder's details, including religion.Accepting alcohol as gift, and passing it to someone is in itself very wrong and not allowed by the religion.

Valerie Houghton 6 years ago

This is an example of a much larger issue-the lack of social awareness that now permeates digital based corporations. "Knowing a customer" requires more than being able to identify their string of characters and resolving an issue with a human requires more than a keyboard skill set.

Milton Tan 6 years ago

I will get very offended if HSBC sent me an Al-Quran

RAH 6 years ago

As a muslim, you don' thank for alcohol as you are then encouraging the notion that it is acceptable to receive.

You should say thanks a lot and immediately continue with the fact that you are a muslim and therefore cannot consume anything will alcohol but reiterate your thanks once again.

The reason you must mention you cannot consume alcohol is to pass on awareness to others so that such incidents do not continue on to other customers.

Finally, you shouldnt pass the alcohol on to others. According to the religion, and the people of Madina when the prophet PBUH told them alcohol has is now banned by God, alchol was discarded into the streets.

Just my advice.

shaheen 6 years ago

Oh please, it was a genuine mistake. I am a moslem woman and if you live in the west this kind of mistake can happen. Why make a mountain out of a mole hill. If you want to live in a moslem country you need to relocate.

jonjon 6 years ago

wow talk about an overreaction, it was an accident which was not intentional. did the family really expect to call them to ask them what is okay and what's not? the irony of it all is that they shouldn't even be banking with a non-islamic bank in the first place. we should not cherry pick from our deen

Nezaud 6 years ago

I agree it is offensive, especially if it was a good well to correct an earlier mistake made by HSBC, at the end of the day they meant well, and they apologized . Case Closed .

mike 6 years ago

Rafiq you are absolutely right and anyone who things to the contrary has serious issues.
Religion is personal so no need to discuss with others and no one else has the responsibility of having to take note of your personal beliefs. What a ridiculous story!