One of Canada’s largest Muslim groups gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a banned charity with links to the Hamas militant group, the Canadian QMI Agency reported Wednesday. The Toronto-based Muslim Association of Canada reportedly gave nearly $300,000 to IRFAN-Canada, a listed terrorist group in Canada that in turn gave millions of dollars to Hamas-linked entities.
The Muslim Association of Canada, which describes itself as a “grassroots Islamic movement that embodies a holistic understanding of Islam emphasizing God consciousness and good works,” says on its website that it “has no organizational link or affiliation with other organizations.” The group didn't immediately respond to the QMI report that found otherwise.
The news organization said it obtained a warrant from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that connected the Muslim Association of Canada with IRFAN-Canada, which is designated as a terrorist organization by Canada and is based in the same Toronto suburb. The Muslim Association of Canada reportedly gave IRFAN-Canada $296,514 from 2001 to 2010. IRFAN-Canada gave $14.6 million “worth of resources to various organizations associated with Hamas,” according to QMI, which cited the Canadian government.
The Muslim Association of Canada had been under police surveillance on suspicion of financing terrorism as recently as 2014, according to QMI. The group condemned Israel’s attack on Gaza during last summer’s war and spoke out about the Ottawa attack in October that killed a Canadian soldier.
The Canadian Muslim group also didn’t condone violence by the Islamic State militant group terrorizing Iraq and Syria. But it did show solidarity with the Muslim Brotherhood, which Hamas grew out of and is deemed a terrorist organization in Egypt, QMI reported. Earlier versions of the Muslim Association of Canada website referenced Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, as one of the upholders of Islam.
"MAC ... strives to practice Islam as embodied in the Qur'an and the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and as understood in its contemporary, comprehensive, and balanced context by the late Imam Hassan Albanna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood," read an older version of the website, according to QMI.