WAMY Canada loses charitable statusWritten by Steven Zhou
The Toronto-based charity World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) was revoked of its charitable status this February.
The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) said in the summary of its decision to revoke that the Assembly failed to keep proper books and a distinct charitable purpose. The Agency noted that the Muslim youth group “was established to support the goals and operations of its parent organization located in Saudi Arabia.”
The CRA came to its final conclusions after conducting an audit on the Assembly. The audit said that the Assembly's parent organization in Saudi Arabia had alleged ties to terrorist groups. Details of the allegations were not disclosed.
Additionally, the Agency said that the listed director of WAMY, Enaam Arnaout, is also the director of the Benevolence International Fund (BIF). Arnout has pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering in the past.
The Fund has also been identified in 2002 by the United Nations as being associated with globally boycotted organizations. “BIF-Canada and BIF-USA were added to the Consolidated List of the United Nations Security Council's Al-Qaida and Taliban and Sanctions Committee,” reads the CRA summary.
The Assembly also appears to have the same contact information and bank account with the Fund's Canada branch. BIF-Canada seemed to have received $50, 246 from the Assembly in 2001. This relationship along with the stagnant nature of the Assembly seemed to have been the crux of the reasoning used by the Agency to strip away charitable status.
The Agency also said in its audit that WAMY has been “inactive” since 2005, and served no real charitable purpose other than to be an arm of its Saudi Arabian parent. The activities carried out by the Canadian charity for its parent were not detailed. All that was said was that WAMY focuses on organizing pilgrimages and camps for youth.
The details regarding financial assistance or any other type of assistance to terrorist organizations in the Middle East given by WAMY Canada have not been made public. The organization's lack of activity, its failure to keep proper financial paperwork, and its relationship with the Benevolence International Fund were apparently the main reasons for the CRA's decision.
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