Tuesday, July 30, 2013

ISNA Canada Responds to Toronto Star/Canadian Revenue Agency Allegations Re Siphoning Funds to Support the Jihad in Kashmir

In response to this article in the Toronto Star, ISNA Canada (which recently hosted Liberal leader Justin Trudeau) issued this presser:
Jesse McLean’s article in Thursday’s Star (July 25, 2013) is based largely on a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that makes speculative allegations about how ISNA Development Foundation (IDF) funds may have been used in Kashmir.  IDF sent funds to Kashmir years ago with the intent of helping orphans and the needy.  The CRA’s audit of IDF speculates on how those funds may have been used.  Most troubling is CRA’s speculation that funds may have been used or diverted to militant groups in the region.  Its letter says that IDF “may have, knowingly or unknowingly, extended the benefits of its status as a registered charity to fund the activities of an organization whose resources may be used…” [emphasis added] to support the efforts of a political organization and its armed wing.  Your article fails to note that CRA’s letter relies extensively on the use of the word “may” without any proof that funds were in fact misused.  In fact, the article’s headline itself uses the word “may”, i.e., “…may have ended up in the hands of violent militants.”  Meanwhile, the audit continues and ISNA Canada will cooperate fully with the tax authorities as the organization has done since the audit began in November 2011.  That said, we think it is unhelpful to cast aspersions about support for militant groups on a charity and the law abiding citizens that it serves based on pure speculation.  
The "emphasis" is added because ISNA's sole defense seems to be an emphasis on semantics.

A "charity" comprised of "law-abiding citizens" supporting, ahem, "militant" groups in far-off lands? Now, why does that sound so familiar?

Update: BCF posts the CRA letter here.

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