Gatestone Institute, by Thomas Quiggin, March 27, 2017:
- The application for judicial review made by IRFAN and Majid also attempts to distance themselves from the Muslim Brotherhood. This seems a bit difficult. Hamas itself was founded as the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Article Two of the Hamas Charter.
- This support for Hamas goes back to at least 1992.
The International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN) has been listed as a terrorism entity in Canada since 2014. It was also identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group during testimony to the Canadian Senate along with the Muslim Association of Canada, the National Council of Canadian Muslims and Islamic Relief Canada.
The listing as a terrorism entity followed the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) 2011 revocation of their charitable status after a multi-year investigation showed that IRFAN had been funding Hamas, otherwise known as the Muslim Brotherhood in the Palestinian territories. The CRA also made it clear that IRFAN was the successor organization to the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services (JFHS) which had also been funding Hamas. The CRA also observed that IRFAN was deliberately constructed to circumvent the Government of Canada so that it could fund Hamas after the Government of Canada refused to grant the JFHS charitable status.
In December 2016, IRFAN found out that its appeal the Minister of Public Safety to have the terrorism listing lifted was rejected.
On February 24, 2017, IRFAN and its former manager, Rasem Abdel Majid applied to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of the Minister’s decision to maintain the terrorist entity listing. IRFAN listed 27 different grounds for why its supporters believe the terrorist designation should be lifted. Extracts from the motion state that:
(16) IRFAN-Canada did not directly or indirectly assist HAMAS. (…)
(17) There is no evidence that IRFAN-Canada attempted to advance the goals of HAMAS or any other organization affiliated with HAMAS.
(19) The listing briefing makes various irrelevant references to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Union of Good. (…) There is no evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood controlled any of IRFAN’s partner organizations or beneficiaries.
Unindicted Co-conspirators in a US Based Terrorism Funding Trial
Both IRFAN-Canada and the Canadian based Jerusalem Fund for Human Services (JFHS) were listed as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Relief Fund terrorism funding trials in the USA, which resulted in multiple convictions. They were listed as the “Jerusalem Fund, aka IRFAN” and were specifically noted as “individuals/entities that are and/or were part of the Global HAMAS financing mechanism.”
Funding Hamas since 1992
In February 2001, IRFAN-Canada assumed the activities and pursuits of the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services (JFHS) according to the Canada Revenue Agency. This included keeping the same General Manager, Rasem Abdel Majid (AKA Abou Basem). The terrorism funding money in question was sent to Hamas.
This support for Hamas goes back to at least 1992. On October 2-3, 1993, five leading members of the U.S. Palestine Committee met at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Philadelphia USA for a conference. As it turns out, the meeting was monitored by the FBI, which was already deeply suspicious of the intent of the individuals involved in the meeting. Wiretaps of this meeting were entered into evidence at the 2007 trial of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), which resulted in convictions and heavy sentences for funding terrorism. The recipient of the funding was Hamas. At the meeting, the role of the Canadian-based Jerusalem Fund for Human Services was discussed.
A Canadian present at this meeting, Rasem Abdel Majid/Abou Basem discussed the fund-raising for Hamas in Canada, which had already been successful. It should be noted that Rasem Abdel Majid was the manager of the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services as well as being the manager for IRFAN throughout the life span of both organizations. The following conversation which concerned funding for Hamas was wiretapped and placed into evidence at the HLF trial:
Abdel Halim Al Ashqar: We heard about Jerusalem for Human Services but we didn’t hear from our brothers at the (Islamic) Association (for Palestine) about what they do. So, I hope that media and public activism in Canada is mentioned if there is something prepared. It might be first opportunity for some of the brothers to meet people from Canada.
Abdel Halim Al Ashqar …Now, the second question, brother Abou Basem, is for Canada: how much do you raise annually?
Abou Basem: … m. The first half of this year [we raised] 214,000.
Abdel Halim Al Ashqar: [How about] last year?
Abou Basem: This is for ’93. From now until June ’93, we raised 214,000. In 1992 [we raised] 167 for the entire year.
The Muslim Brotherhood Connection
The application for judicial review made by IRFAN and Majid also attempts to distance themselves from the Muslim Brotherhood. This seems a bit difficult. Hamas itself was founded as the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Article Two of the Hamas Charter. Additionally, the Holy Land Relief trials also produced a series of judgements which clearly identified Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood has being financially linked to a number of other actors in the funding conspiracy, including the Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust. IRFAN/JFHS were listed as unindicted co-conspirators in this trial and were listed as part of the “Global HAMAS financing mechanism.” To round this off, Senate Testimony in Canada noted IRFAN has been a Muslim Brotherhood front group as stated at the outset of this article.
Public Safety Canada
According to a March 9, 2017 article titled “Canadian Charity Fights to Remove ‘Terrorist’ Label,” Public Safety Canada spokeswoman Karine Martel declined to comment on the situation, citing pending litigation. She did state, however, that “The Crown will be participating in that proceeding and addressing the issues raised in court,”
The lawyers representing IRFAN and Rasem Abdel Majid are Yavar Hameed, of Hameed Law of Ottawa and Faisal Mirza of Faisal Mirza Professional Corporation of Mississauga.
Tom Quiggin, a court qualified expert on terrorism and practical intelligence, is based in Canada.