posted by Christopher W. Holton

A religious group found to have illegally cleared and developed a rural block north-west of Sydney has been stripped of its charity status following an investigation by the national charities regulator.

Mustapha Kara-Ali is the imam of Diwan Al Dawla, an Islamic-influenced guild which runs a religious retreat on a property by the river at Colo.

For months he and Diaa Kara-Ali have been the subject of a legal battle with the Hawkesbury City Council over the cleared land and related contempt of court charges. 

Dr Kara-Ali claimed his group was exempt from Australian law because it was a basic religious charity.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) did not support that claim and today announced it had revoked Diwan Al Dawla’s charity status after an investigation. 

ACNC commissioner Gary Johns said charity stratus revocation was the most serious action the national regulator could take.

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