ISNA Canada

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ISNA Canada is a non-profit organization in Canada whose main program is the operation of an Islamic elementary school, the ISNA Elementary School, in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The school is one of the oldest Islamic schools in the Greater Toronto Area. It also operates a high school as part of separate facility, the Islamic Centre of Canada complex. The organization is loosely affiliated with the U.S.-based Islamic Society of North America, but is formally separate.

In 2017 the organisations ISNA Islamic Services of Canada and Canadian Islamic Trust Foundation were stripped of their status as charities by the government of Canada after an investigation revealed links to a foreign militant group. Both the stripped associations shared their postal address in Mississauga with ISNA-Canada.[1]

ISNA Elementary School[edit]

ISNA Elementary School
Address
1525 Sherway Drive

,
Canada
Coordinates43°36′13″N 79°34′07″W / 43.6036°N 79.5687°W / 43.6036; -79.5687Coordinates: 43°36′13″N 79°34′07″W / 43.6036°N 79.5687°W / 43.6036; -79.5687
Information
School typePrivate
Religious affiliation(s)Islamic
PrincipalObaid Yarkhan[2]
GradesK-8
Website

The ISNA Elementary School is an Islamic elementary school in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. ISNA Elementary School was founded in 1983, and moved to its current location in 1985; it is one of the oldest Islamic schools in the Greater Toronto Area. ISNA Elementary School offers all subjects required by the Ontario Ministry of Education: English, Math, Science, French (grades 4-8), Social Studies, Gym and Computer Studies. Additionally it also offers Arabic, Quran and Islamic Studies as part of the school's Islamic curriculum.

The school building's exterior underwent a facelift during the summer of 2005. The facelift added a cream-yellow insulation to the brick building and archways to the design, embodying Islamic architecture - resembling the design of its high school branch. ISNA Elementary School was also covered by the media as part of the faith-based school funding debate proposed by the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario if they won the 2007 general election.[3] ISNA Elementary School regularly faces other Islamic schools in the Greater Toronto Area in a yearly basketball tournament.

ISNA High school[edit]

ISNA Elementary School also has a high school branch in Mississauga, which is called ISNA High School. The high school is housed in the Islamic Center of Canada complex, which also houses a big mosque and the headquarters of ISNA Canada, among other amenities for Muslims such as an Islamic funeral service and an Islamic bookstore.[4] It is one of the few Islamic high schools in the Greater Toronto Area.

Controversy[edit]

An audit of ISNA Canada in 2011 found only a quarter of the funds donated to the organisation went to help the poor. Charity donations were misdirected to private businesses.[5]

On September 21, 2013, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) revoked the tax-exempt registration of ISNA Development Foundation,[6] a defunct-charity that operated out of ISNA Canada's headquarters.[7] ISNA Canada was not affected by the move.[8].

On September 12, 2018, CRA suspended the organization for one year and ordered the charity to pay a penalty of $550,000. The CRA determined that "the society’s resources may have, directly or indirectly, been used the support the political efforts of Jamaat-e-Islami and/or its armed wing Hizbul Mujahideen." [9]

The U.S.-based Islamic Society of North America, a distinct organization, noted association with ISNA Canada but emphasized its complete separation of governance, accounting, and auditing.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Government revokes group's charity status, audit cites possible funding of Pakistani militants". Global News. Retrieved 2017-08-19.
  2. ^ ISNA Elementary School Principal's Message
  3. ^ TheStar.com - Ontario Election - Schoolgirls 'equal' yet segregated
  4. ^ ISNA High School - official website
  5. ^ McLean, Jesse (January 20, 2011). "Muslim charity squandered money for poor". The Star. Toronto.
  6. ^ Canada Revenue Agency (press release distributed by MarketWired) (September 20, 2013). "The Canada Revenue Agency Revokes the Registration of the ISNA Development Foundation as a Charity".
  7. ^ "Star Investigation: Federal audit raises concern that Canadian charity funded terror".
  8. ^ ISNA Canada Release 27 September, 2013, Re: ISNA Development Foundation
  9. ^ Stewart Bell (2018-10-01). "CRA suspends, fines major Islamic charity over concerns it may have 'provided resources' to armed militants". Global News. Retrieved 2018-11-11.
  10. ^ "ISNA Clarifies Its Position on ISNA Canada". Islamic Society of North America.

External links[edit]