The Liberal government has awarded a $25,787 to the Islamic Society of North America-Canada (ISNA-Canada) under the controversial Canada Summer Jobs grant, despite the organization’s charity status being suspended for allegedly financing terrorism.
In 2018, ISNA-Canada was found to have contributed funds to Relief Organization for Kashmiri Muslims (ROKM) and others. According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), charities are prohibited from contributing to political or terror-related groups.
Among the CRA’s mandates regarding charity status is the stipulation that it “[prevents] organizations with ties to terrorism from obtaining charitable registration.”
Despite this barring, ISNA-Canada proceeded to provide ROKM with $90,000 in funds according to a CRA audit. In total the organization was believed to have sent nearly $136,000 without due diligence to the Kashmiri region. ROKM is known to have alleged affiliations with Hizbul Mujahideen, the militant arm of the Islamist Pakistani party Jamaat-e-Islami and is listed as a terror entity in several countries.
The original audit into the funds was conducted in 2011.
In response, the CRA suspended the group’s charity status for a year and fined the organization nearly half a million dollars.
This is not the first time that the “charity” was awarded funding under the summer jobs grant by the Liberal government. As first reported by True North’s Candice Malcolm, shortly after the group was suspended, it was awarded a taxpayer-funded grant later that year.
The group has also been known to host high profile Liberal MPs, including Iqra Khalid, Omar Alghabra and even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trudeau appeared at an event held by ISNA-Canada in 2013 before he became Prime Minister.
The Canada Summer Jobs Grant has been a controversial issue for the Liberals after the federal government tacked on a “values test” for organizations hoping to utilize the grant. Among those values was an attestation by which organizations had to agree with abortion as a right.
As a result of the attestation, dozens of summer camps and church organizations were forced to close their doors.
Due to pressure from opposition MPs and organizations like True North, the federal government changed the attestation.