The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) has suspended a Muslim charity, the Islamic Society of North America-Canada (ISNA- Canada,) for a year for funding groups allegedly linked to terrorist organizations like Hizbul Mujahideen, active in the Indian province of Kashmir, the television channel Global News reported, citing new CRA research and the agency’s letter to the organization. Separately, it demanded that the charity pay a fine of $550,000.
ISNA, along with a related charity, the Canadian Islamic Trust Foundation, was stripped of its “charity” status for “non-compliance” after audit records revealed receipts for funds that were raised by the Toronto-based Jami Mosque and apparently passed to the ISNA Development Foundation“for remit” to the Relief Organization of Kashmiri Muslims (ROKM).
“Our research indicates that ROKM is the charitable arm of Jamaat-e-Islami, a political organization that actively contests the legitimacy of India’s governance over the state of Jammu and Kashmir, including reportedly through the activities of its armed wing Hizbul Mujahideen,” the CRA wrote.
The US State Department designated the leader of Hizbul Mujahideen, Syed Salahuddin, as a terrorist on June 26 after he threatened to train suicide bombers and turn Kashmir “into a graveyard for Indian forces.”
ISNA, meanwhile, denied all the allegations, noting that they “are saddened by this outcome.”
The first audits of ISNA’s finances date back to 2007 and they were carried out for 3 consecutive years. It was only in 2014, however, that the CRA informed the charities about the risk of losing their respective registration over illegal money flows, and threatened with staggering fines in this event.
In letters dated March 30, 2017, the CRA said that after reviewing the charities’ written responses to the audits, the government’s concerns had “not been alleviated.”