Islamic media is reporting that the organizers of Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) conference have announced tonight that IRFAN-Canada, a charity said by the Canadian government to have been funding Hamas, has withdrawn its sponsorship of the event. According to an Iqra.ca report:
IRFAN’s charitable status was revoked by Revenue Canada Charitable Directorate in 2011. ‘RIS is aware that IRFAN denies any wrongdoing and has been in the process of challenging the revocation of its status,’ RIS said in a statement. ‘The material evidence used by Revenue Canada against IRFAN are matters best left to the relevant legal bodies to be resolved,’ said Fouzan Khan, a founder and director of RIS. ‘It is extremely unfortunate that this issue has threatened to detract from the many accomplishments of RIS in the last ten years.’ Earlier this month, the Reviving the Islamic Spirit event was attacked by extreme anti-Muslim blogs for being sponsored by organizations that they claimed are affiliated to Hamas. Those blog postings were picked up by a few mainstream media outlets and garnered national coverage when Liberal MP and leadership candidate, Justin Trudeau, was questioned about his participation in the event at a news conference in St-Jerome, Quebec on December 10th. ‘I’ve heard a number of people express concerns about this event that I certainly don’t understand and I don’t share,’ Trudeau said during the news conference. ‘It’s a group of young people who’ve pulled this together. Most of the organizers are young Muslims who are looking at trying to bridge the gap between the reality for Muslim Canadians and mainstream Canada and I’m very proud to be able to contribute.’ In the last ten years RIS has emerged as a major platform for some of the leading thinkers from around the world to address one of the largest assembly of Muslims in the western hemisphere. ‘The conference has always been about uniting and joining hands with scholars, journalists, academics, representatives from other faiths, and artists to promote messages of peace and tolerance,’ said RIS spokeswoman, Farhia Ahmed.
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A post from last week repaired that Liberal Party leadership candidate Justin Trudeau had defended his decision to speak at the conference.
A post from April 2011 reported that the Canaidan government had revoked IRFAN’s charity status over its funding of Hamas. Previous posts had reported on the suspension of IRFAN/Canada and discussed evidence of ties from IRFAN to Hamas fundraising.
- A 2004 a report of the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, close to Israeli military intelligence, that described IRFAN/Canada as part of the worldwide Hamas fundraising network.
- The the organization was one of the original members if the Union of Good, a coalition of Islamic charities that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities and headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi.
- In May 2007, IRFAN/Canada was named by US prosecutors as part of the Global HAMAS financing mechanism in the Holy Land Terrorism terrorism financing trial.