canada revenue agency

Canada Revenue Agency is in court over allegations of Islamophobia

A Canadian charitable organization is taking the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to court after claiming the agency's audit was "rooted" in Islamophobia and violated Charter rights. 

The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) launched a Charter of Rights challenge back in April 2022, and the case began its hearing in the Ontario Superior Court on Monday. 

The challenge aimed to address the question of whether the CRA's audit of MAC and its methods for assessing risks posed by Muslim charities reflected systemic bias and Islamophobia. 

MAC has been the subject of an audit by CRA's Review and Analysis Division (RAD) since 2015. The Charter Challenge aims to show that the RAD's audit of the organization violated freedom of religion, expression, association, and equality. 

MAC claims that "RAD's motivation to conduct the audit was based on systemic bias," and alleges that the risk analysis used to select the organization for audit unfairly targets Muslim charities.

"The RAD has perceived and interpreted normal interactions as deceptive, failing to understand Muslim religious practices on their own terms and applying standards that would never have been applied to non-Muslim charities," a press release from the organization reads. 

A 2021 report from the University of Toronto's Institute of Islamic Studies did find that Muslim charities are disproportionately targeted when it comes to audits by the CRA. 

"The Muslim Association of Canada firmly believes that every Canadian has the right to practice their faith and express their beliefs without fear of discrimination," said Mr. Sharaf Sharafeldin, MAC President-Strategy. 

"That is why we challenged CRA's audit, which we believe was founded on Islamophobic sources and unfairly violates the rights of Canadian Muslims and the Muslim charity sector."

Lead photo by

Obert Madondo

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