Statement by the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) in Response to La Presse Article

November 13, 2023

(en français)

The recent article by La Presse, titled ‘The tax authorities accuse the MAC of associating with extremism’, is not just misleading but a deliberate attempt to tarnish the Muslim Association of Canada’s reputation. We categorically deny the allegations and the insinuations made in this article by Vincent Larouche.

The article manipulates CRA’s preliminary allegations by:

  • Falsely reporting allegations that were never made by the CRA
  • Reporting the CRA’s allegations out of context
  • Ignoring substantial evidence provided by MAC that counters the allegations made by the CRA

Additionally, La Presse has improperly  undermined our response. MAC’s comments and clarifications, rather than being incorporated within the primary article, have been relegated to a separate article online. This editorial decision isolates our perspective from the main discourse, particularly concerning the inflammatory accusations made against us. 

Moreover, our original comments have been partially published by La Presse.

This omission of critical information and inclusion of false information presented as facts is a disservice to the truth and to the public.

Most concerning is the ongoing narrative in certain segments of the Canadian media, which perpetuates the notion of guilt until proven innocence, particularly towards Canadian Muslims. 

Considering the present international tensions and the increase in Islamophobia incidents in Canada, this article fuels anti-Muslim hate and places MAC and the Muslim Community as a target of unwarranted media attacks and hate. This is unacceptable.

MAC is actively exploring legal options against La Press for this irresponsible and harmful reporting. 

For a comprehensive understanding, we invite the public to review the CRA’s preliminary allegations alongside MAC’s complete response. All relevant documents and detailed explanations are accessible at https://charter.macnet.ca/ . This resource has been created to provide unfiltered access to all pertinent information, ensuring that the public can make informed opinions based on the entirety of the facts.

Comment Provided  to La Presse on Nov 6, 2023:
Subject: MAC Response to La Presse
To: vlarouche@lapresse.ca

Due to the complexity of this story and its reliance on thousands of pages that MAC has sent to the CRA, MAC requests that its bolded OFFICIAL comments below be included in its entirety, exactly as stated, without modification or rewording. We appreciate you including MAC’s comment as is.

“It is categorically untrue and defamatory to claim that the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) has ever provided support to Hamas, either directly or indirectly. The RCMP has confirmed that it has no concerns with MAC’s donations to IRFAN-Canada. The CRA’s allegations of links between MAC and Hamas-affiliated groups within Canada were highlighted by an Ontario Superior Court Judge as preliminary, unproven, and can only be considered in the context of MAC’s response. The Judge also recognized a bias in some of the claims against the organization. MAC has provided a detailed response regarding these allegations which are divorced from reality.

MAC has enforced a robust anti-terrorism policy for over a decade, adhering to the guidelines of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Criminal Code of Canada, and the United Nations Act.

Furthermore, the Ontario Superior Court has affirmed the rights of our members to participate in legitimate civic and democratic activities, both domestically and internationally. 

The continuous framing by some Canadian media that Canadian Muslims are guilty until proven innocent is furthered by reporting on biased and Islamophobic preliminary findings of the CRA, and has resulted in MAC being the target of attacks by media and hate by Islamophobes. This is unacceptable.

The CRA has made a decision which has not yet taken effect and is protected by the Income Tax Act. Consequently, neither the CRA nor MAC are in a position to provide details, however, we can confirm that this decision does not in any way affect MAC’s operations.

MAC has addressed the preliminary findings raised by La Press comprehensively, and the CRA has taken into account all of MAC’s responses. We can state with certainty that the CRA’s decision is not based on any preliminary findings associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, IRFAN Canada, or Qatar Charity.

An explanation of these preliminary findings and MAC’s response is available at https://charter.macnet.ca/ ”

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