ISNA-Canada Receives Government Grant Despite Suspension Over Terror-Funding Concerns


Canadian media reported earlier in the summer that the Islamic Society of North America- Canada was awarded a federal summer jobs grant despite being suspended and fined over concerns that it may have funded armed militants in Kashmir. According to the Gobalnews report:

June 13, 2019 A Toronto-area organization that was suspended by charities regulators and fined $550,000 over concerns it may have funded armed militants in Pakistan has been awarded a federal summer jobs grant. Although the Islamic Society of North America-Canada is serving a one-year suspension imposed by the Canada Revenue Agency, it was approved for 2019 Canada Summer Jobs funding. Based in Mississauga, Ont., the group is to receive $25,787 from Employment and Social Development Canada to create five summer jobs, a department spokesperson said.ISNA-Canada is one of only two Canadian non-profit groups currently serving suspensions, meaning it cannot issue tax receipts to donors. During Question Period on Thursday, Employment Minister Patricia Hajdu said the government condemned violent extremism and would review the grant. “I’ve asked the department to look into, review this matter to ensure that the organization is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the program,” she said. The CRA sanctioned ISNA-Canada following an audit that alleged it had “failed to conduct any meaningful due diligence” when money was transferred to Kashmir, where Hizbul Mujahideen militants have been fighting Indian troops.The auditors wrote that ISNA-Canada “may have, knowingly or unknowingly, provided the benefits of its status as a registered charity to support the efforts of a political party and its armed wing.” “It is the CRA’s view that the society’s resources may have, directly or indirectly, been used to support the political efforts of Jamaat-e-Islami and/or its armed wing Hizbul Mujahideen,” according to CRA documents.

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In August 2017 the GMBDW reported that that the charity status of the ISNA Islamic Services of Canada was removed after an audit problem with respect to a Pakistani armed militant group. That post cited a report describing ISNA Islamic Services of Canada as a” former affiliate” of the Islamic Society of North America-Canada, sharing its Mississauga, Ont. address, and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) had issued a statement that included the following:

ISNA Canada and Islamic Development Foundation (IDF) in Canada are federally registered charities in Canada. It is important to note that the leadership and management of both of these organizations in Canada are separate from ISNA and its IDF (a department of ISNA), registered in the United States. There has been no links of authority or responsibility between the United States and Canadian organizations for a few decades, despite the similarity of names.

However, the statement has since been removed from the ISNA website.

In May 2013, the GMBDW reported that money raised by the Canadian branch ISNA may have gone to support a militant Kashmiri separatist group known as Hizbul Mujahideen.

In January 2011, we reported that Mohammad Ashraf, long-time leader of the Islamic Society of North America Canada, was at the center of a controversy involving mismanaged charity donations and free perks for family members.

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 US. Muslim Brotherhood.

For a detailed analysis of ISNA and its recent history, go here.

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