Local Muslim activists said yesterday that they will launch a public campaign against Wachovia Corp. to protest its refusal to explain why it closed the bank accounts of a Herndon-based Muslim social service organization.

The activists said they will hold a news conference Monday outside a Wachovia branch on North Capitol Street and ask people to contact the North Carolina-based bank to voice concern about its action. If the bank fails to explain its decision to close the accounts, they said they may take other steps, including street demonstrations and calls for a bank boycott.

“Hopefully, Wachovia will see that the community is very serious about this issue,” said Corey P. Saylor, government affairs director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“People in this community have a right to know why Wachovia closed this account,” said Mahdi Bray, director of the Muslim American Society’s Freedom Foundation.

Wachovia spokesman Scott Silvestri wrote in an e-mail yesterday that “Wachovia is committed to conducting business and operations with the highest ethical standards and in full compliance with applicable laws. . . It is also the company’s long-standing policy not to comment on customer relationships.”


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