Just weeks after President Obama delivered a video message praising the Islamic Society of North America, the organization held a private meeting with the leader of Iran and evidence of a terror link has surfaced with its Canadian counterparts.
“Over the last half century, you’ve upheld the legacy of American Muslims’ contributions to our national fabric,” Obama said in the video. “I am especially grateful for the work that ISNA does to advance interfaith understanding and cooperation here at home and around the world. My administration is proud to be your partner.”
The home page of the U.S. organization’s website prominently features this video of President Obama commemorating its 50-year anniversary.
While the United Nations General Assembly met last week in New York, a group of over 50 American Muslim leaders met with Hasan Rouhani, the newly elected president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America, was there to discuss American Muslims’ concerns in particular, including the crisis in Syria and growing sectarian tensions worldwide, according to the group’s website. Members of the Muslim Public Affairs Council were also present.
Magid spoke about growing concerns over atrocities in Syria and Iran’s role in the conflict. A letter the groups delivered to the Iranian president called on Rouhani to work toward ending the Syrian conflict, stressing the need for leadership.
While the American Islamic Society’s website touts fostering good relations with other religious communities and civic and service organizations, the Canadian arm of the organization has been under close scrutiny.
The Islamic Society of North America-Canada made news recently when the Canada Revenue Agency revoked its charitable status after a two-year probe found that it distributed over $280,000 to a group linked to a terrorist organization in Pakistan, according to the Toronto Sun.
“The Government of Canada has made it clear that it will not tolerate the abuse of the registration system for charities to provide any means of support to terrorism,” a press release from the Canada Review Agency said.
The agency detailed evidence of the link between the Islamic Society and the terror group in a 71-page “letter of revocation” after an audit of its books between 2007 and 2009.
The Toronto Sun reported:
Transactions during that time showed a “funding arrangement” between the group and the Kashmiri Canadian Council/Kashmiri Relief Fund of Canada. That group would send money to the Pakistani-based Relief Organization for Kashmiri Muslims. That group is the charitable arm of Jamaat-e-Islami, a political organization which supports the overthrow of India’s government through the activities of the Hizbul Mujahideen, the CRA release said.
Hizbul Mujahideen is considered a terrorist organization by the European Union and government of India, the CRA said.
The Canadian Islamic Society disputed the allegations in a July statement on their website, the Sun reported, saying that it sent money to Kashmir to help orphans and the needy.
The Islamic Society of North America’s U.S.-based parent organization released a statement earlier this year distancing it from the Canadian branch, saying there have been “no links of authority or responsibility between the United States and Canadian organizations for a few decades, despite similarity of names,” according to the Sun.