May 4, 2014 Branded a terrorist organization by the federal government, an Ontario-based Muslim relief group long accused of links to Hamas has told the Federal Court it is appealing the ‘unreasonable’ and ‘unconstitutional’ decision.
In a letter filed in court, Yavar Hameed, an Ottawa lawyer who represents the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy — Canada, said he been instructed to challenge Ottawa’s move to outlaw the former charity.
‘The appellant takes the position that the decision to list it as a terrorist entity was unreasonable and that at law there were not reasonable grounds to believe that it should have been listed,’ Mr. Hameed wrote in the four-page letter.
He also said the law, part of the Anti-Terrorism Act enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, may violate the right to ‘life, liberty and security of the person’ guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
A non-profit group that worked mostly in Muslim regions, IRFAN-Canada had been under scrutiny by Canada Revenue Agency auditors for a decade. As far back as 2004, charities regulators had raised concerns about its links to Hamas.
But it was allowed to keep its charity status after it signed an undertaking that that said it was not aware the groups it was funding were associated with Hamas, and that it would ‘no longer put its resources at the disposition of organizations linked to Hamas.’
A subsequent audit, however, found that between 2004 and 2009, IRFAN-Canada had funded ‘operating partners that were run by officials of Hamas, openly supported and provided funding to Hamas, or have been listed by various jurisdictions because of their support for Hamas or other terrorist entities.’
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The GMBDW reported last month that the Canadian national police had conducted search of IRFAN’s offices.
A post from July 2013 reported that IRFAN had suspended its operations after its bank accounts were closed. A post from April 2011 reported that the Canadian 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 Hmas fundraising that included:
- 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.