Navaid Aziz: CRA persecution of Muslim charities counterproductive to anti-radicalization

May 26, 2023 | Imam Navaid Aziz

The CRA’s approach to countering radicalization jeopardizes the effectiveness of the government’s overall efforts

The ongoing charter challenge brought forward by the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) against the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has highlighted multiple systemic challenges faced by Muslim charities.

The CRA’s audits of Muslim charities, including MAC, has come under scrutiny due to the tax agency’s reliance on problematic sources and Islamophobic biases, which give it a flawed understanding of terrorism-financing risks.

During the court proceedings, the CRA expressed concern over various aspects of MAC’s operations, including its youth programming. The agency argues that MAC’s youth activities — such as youth groups, sports and arts activities — which aim to encourage young people to come to the mosque and learn about their faith, are not advancing religion but rather promoting social activities.

These allegations have raised deep concerns among community leaders about the CRA’s flawed understanding of the role of faith-based organizations in promoting fellowship and spiritual growth.

Canada’s Muslim community, like our Jewish brothers and sisters with the principle of tikun olam (repairing the world), strives to make the world a better place — not just for Muslims, but for everyone. We strive to create a constructive presence of Muslims in Canada through educational programs, community mosques and spiritual fellowship. When we fail to provide these resources, we leave space for young Canadians to adopt unconstructive or even extreme views and practices.

The CRA’s approach to countering radicalization jeopardizes the effectiveness of the government’s overall efforts and is at odds with Canada’s national strategy on countering radicalization to violence, which recognizes the significance of empowering faith communities as a vital component of countering radicalization.

Read the full article: CRA persecution of Muslim charities counterproductive to anti-radicalization

– Navaid Aziz, National Post

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