Home > News > Clarification on Media Reports re: ISNA Islamic Services of Canada (IISC) and Jami Mosque

Clarification on Media Reports re: ISNA Islamic Services of Canada (IISC) and Jami Mosque

Posted on: 21 July 2017

Clarification on Media Reports

ISNA Islamic Services of Canada (IISC) and Jami Mosque

Revocation of Charity Status

First, it must be noted that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) revocation of charity status for IISC is based on an audit of years 2007-2009.  The audit itself was carried out two years later in 2011.  CRA issued an Administrative Fairness Letter (AFL) another three years later in 2014, pointing out compliance deficiencies. This year, some seven years after the audit, CRA issued a notice of charity status revocation for IISC, without taking into account the fact that the deficiencies pointed out by them have been corrected.

IISC is an entity separate from ISNA Canada and responsible for Jami Mosque.  After the loss of IISC charitable status, Jami Mosque requested to become a program of ISNA Canada and its operations are fully compliant with CRA requirements.

The CRA's analysis of the Organization's purposes is premised upon the requirements outlined in CRA Guidance CG-019, How to Draft Purposes for Charitable Registration.  The IISC responded that this document was published on July 25, 2013, well after both the audit period and the Organization's registration by the CRA in September 1973.   As a result, it is the IISC's expressed opinion that the CRA's application of a "guidance document that was not in existence at the time of the audit, or during the Audit Period, to charitable purposes which were approved more than three decades ago is fundamentally unfair."

The issue highlighted in the media that somehow the Jami Mosque sent donations to a group in Kashmir with terrorist links is not a valid representation.  The Jami Mosques donations were sent for the express purpose of helping the poor and needy people.  This is allowed by CRA. Where IISC failed is to exercise due diligence in the distribution of donations, allowing CRA to make a claim that the donations may have been misdirected to causes not in line with IISC’s mission.

Let us not be distracted by events going back to seven years.  The present state of affairs is entirely different and the current operations are fully compliant with CRA requirements and ISNA Canada is continuing to operate as a registered charity.

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