What does the latest charter challenge against the CRA mean for Muslim organizations?
April 28, 2023 | Future of Good
As hearings begin for the Muslim Association of Canada’s Charter challenge, non-profits across the country show support. The Muslim Association of Canada hopes its lawsuit encourages other Muslim charities to challenge the CRA’s audit practices in the future
Why It Matters
Muslim-led charities provide community spaces, places of worship and other social services for Canada’s Muslim (and non-Muslim) communities. With questionable CRA audit practices, these charities are heavily scrutinized and at risk of losing their charitable status, which can impact donations and operations needed to serve their communities, while also stigmatizing the Muslim community.
Ramadan, which is considered the holiest month of the year in Islam, is seen as an opportunity for Muslims around the world to give back to their communities. This can often include donating to Muslim charities and non-profits.
But this Ramadan was different for one of Canada’s largest charities, the Muslim Association of Canada, says. Hearings took place at the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice for a lawsuit it posed on the Canada Revenue Agency.
MAC is trying to convince the court that a 2015 audit conducted by the CRA’s Review and Analysis Division (RAD) violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of association and equality. The hearing came one year after MAC filed the lawsuit.
“An audit is an expectation of any charity — a simple review of the association’s financial records and controls. But this audit quickly turned out to be something much more sinister,” MAC says in an email to Future of Good….
– Ramona Leitao, Future of Good