The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the continental Muslim organization based in Plainfield, Indiana, late this evening released a statement on the controversy surrounding ISNA-Canada reported in today’s Toronto Star.
The statement is encouraging the ISNA-Canada Board to continue its investigation of the alleged mismanagement at the organization.
The release stated:
“Earlier today, ISNA-Canada, a separate legal and financial entity from ISNA (Continental), contacted our executive council in light of allegations of a serious violation of donor intent that has occurred in their organization, as reported in the Canadian newspaper, The Star, publicly detailing the events at ISNA-Canada.”
A recent independent audit, ordered by the new ISNA-Canada Board, points to possible mis-management of funds by ISNA-Canada’s Secretary General Mohammad Ashraf. As reported in the Toronto Star, “ISNA-Canada’s board of directors is in the midst of obtaining the services of an independent auditor to conduct a more thorough audit.”
ISNA-Canada’s new President, Mohamed Bekkari, ordered the audit soon after his election after identifying unusual management practices undertaken by Ashraf. When the results of the audit uncovered irregularities, ISNA-Canada board removed all financial authority from Ashraf and began a vigorous reformation of financial protocols at the organization.”
“A violation of the community’s trust is extremely serious and that is why it is extremely important that transparency is observed during the investigation of this apparent breach of trust,” said ISNA (Continental) Secretary General Safaa Zarzour.
The statement is assuring donors that the continental organization operates as a separate entity in the U.S. and has stringent financial controls in place.
“We also want to reassure our donors that, as a completely separate legal and financial entity, ISNA (Continental) operates under an entirely separate board of directors and secretary general from ISNA-Canada and we have stringent financial controls in compliance with laws governing nonprofits in the U.S.,” the release states.
“Transparency and honesty are paramount to our relationships with our community and we intend to continue upholding our ethical standards,” said ISNA (Continental) President Imam Mohamed Magid.