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Canadian police: Muslim group funneled $300,000 to Hamas-linked terrorists

By
Andrew V. Pestano

OTTAWA, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), one of the largest Muslim organizations in the country, is being accused of funneling money to designated terrorist organization IRFAN-Canada.

A Canadian police raid found that MAC gave $296,514 to IRFAN-Canada between 2001 and 2010, according to The Toronto Sun.

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IRFAN-Canada was listed as a terrorist entity by the Canadian government in 2014. The group has transferred about $14 million in resources to organizations associated with Hamas, police said.

"The government of Canada is unwavering in its commitment to protect Canadians from the threat of terrorism," Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, said. "By listing IRFAN-Canada, we are sending the strong message that Canada will not tolerate terrorist activities including the financing of terrorist groups."

IRFAN-Canada is fighting the terrorist designation in court. The police raid that led to the organization being listed also found videos that "demonize Israel" and "glorify martyrdom."

Hamas is a Palestinian militant group that originally carried out an armed struggle against Israel, but since 2005 has become politically engaged.

Hamas aims for the destruction of Israel and is designated a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel, Canada, the European Union and Japan.

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MAC operates more than 15 mosques and 20 Islamic schools in Canada and owns assets that equal about $30 million.

"A primary tenet of MAC is community involvement and service not only with the Muslim community, but with every community, regardless of faith or background," MAC's website states.

MAC released a statement in 2014 condemning the Islamic State.

"ISIS is not a true expression of Islam," the statement said. "Violence against civilians is unacceptable and a corruption of our beliefs."

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