Canadian media is reporting that money raised by the Canadian branch of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) may have gone to support a militant Kashmiri separatist group. According to a Toronto Star report:
The federal charity watchdog is now threatening to revoke the charity status of Mississauga’s ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) Development Foundation.
A Canada Revenue Agency audit revealed the foundation shipped more than $280,000 to a Pakistan-based agency, cash the government fears went to supporting the Hizbul Mujahideen — a militant group that seeks the secession of Kashmir from India.
The foundation ‘facilitated the transfer of resources that may have been used to support the efforts of a political organization . . . and its armed wing,’ the CRA said in a letter to the charity outlining its findings, obtained by the Star.
‘Canada’s commitment to combating terrorism extends to preventing organizations with ties to terrorism from benefiting from the tax advantages of charitable registration,’ the CRA letter said.
The charity’s acting president dismissed the suggestion that the money it gave to the Pakistan-based Relief Organization for Kashmiri Muslims may have landed in the wrong hands because of poor oversight.
‘The money did not go to any groups who were freedom fighters,’ G. Nabi Chaudhary said. ‘We made sure that all of the money the charity sent to those organizations was spent on the needy, to help the misplaced. We had people on the ground who were working with the relief organizations.’
But the charity failed to show auditors any documents proving it had control over how the money was spent, as the tax agency requires.”
Read the rest here.
The US ISNA office issued a statement denying any ” links of authority or responsibility between the United States and Canadian organizations.”
For a profile of Hizbul Mujahideen, go here.
The ISNA-Canada case is not the first time the question of North American Muslim Brotherhood ties to Kashmiri interests have been raised. In August 2011, U.S. Muslim Brotherhood activist Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai was arrested by the FBI and accused of acting as an agent for the Pakistani intelligence service and being involved in secret lobbying efforts inside the U.S. In March 2012, Fai was sentenced to two years of imprisonment by a US court for “conspiracy to defraud the US” by concealing transfer of funding from Pakistan’s ISI for his illegal lobbying efforts on Kashmir. For a detailed investigative report on Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, go here.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) describes itself as “an independent, open and transparent membership organization that strives to be an exemplary and unifying Islamic organization in North America by contributing to the betterment of the Muslim community and society at large. ISNA emerged out of the early U.S. Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure and documents discovered in the course of the the terrorism trial of the Holy Land Foundation confirmed that the organization was part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. ISNA was named as a Holy Land unindicted co-conspirator as a result of what the US Justice Department called the organization’s ” intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case.” In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.” ISNA has had a long history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism. ISNA of late. Clearly considered to be “rehabilitated” by the Obama administration, ISNA has more recently issued robust condemnations of terrorism beginning with this 2008 ISNA statement that although denying culpability in the Holy Land terrorism financing case, for the first time condemned terrorism while identifying Hamas and Hezbollah by name. ISNA has also been engaged in an active program of interfaith cooperation that has included partnerships with Jewish organizations and visits to concentration camp sites in Europe. Yet despite these new efforts, ISNA continues maintain strong ties to both the US and Global Muslim Brotherhood and has failed to date to acknowledge any aspect of its actual origins or its history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism. For these reasons, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch concludes that ISNA remains, as it always has been, an integral part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. For a detailed analysis of ISNA and its recent history, go here.