Two Muslim organisations have called for a boycott of Barclays Bank after it closed the accounts of Bolton-based charity the Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT). The move followed claims that the charity was indirectly helping to fund the Palestinian organisation Hamas. UWT has donated more than £200,000 over the past four years to another UK registered charity, Interpal, which has been branded a Hamas front by the US Treasury and has been banned since 2003 in the USA, Canada and Australia. Lloyds TSB, which is also the subject of calls for a boycott by Muslims, is in the process of closing Interpal’s UK accounts. The Muslim Public Affairs Committee has called for a boycott of the banks and has begun an online petition. Mosques with accounts at Lloyds TSB and Barclays are being urged to move them to other banks. The Federation of Student Islamic Societies is also supporting the UWT, which it says provides essential relief work, and accused the banks of “sending out the wrong message to the Muslim community in the UK”. Mohammed Ahmed, UWT’s director of operations, said Barclays had closed its bank accounts without any justification. He said it was part of “a concerted attempt” to stop British Muslim charities from working in politically sensitive regions.

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