Statement on Global News Article by Stewart Bell

October 13, 2023

An article published by Stewart Bell in Global News on October 13, 2023 titled “Auditors allege Canadian charity helped Hamas financier” appears to target MAC amid heightened emotions concerning events in the Middle East. It’s concerning when the media seemingly adds to division and misinformation rather than caring about truth and upholding journalistic integrity. The highlighted preliminary allegations have been public for over 6 months, since the Charter Challenge hearing, yet Global News reported on it only now, raising questions about timing and intentions, especially since they did not give MAC an adequate opportunity to comment and ignored both MAC’s written response to the CRA and the Ontario Superior Court Judge’s assessment of apparent prejudice in the allegations.

Repeatedly mentioning Hamas and terrorism to alarm the Canadian public is provocative, doesn’t serve the greater public interest, and is Islamophobic. This article creates tension between the Muslim and Jewish communities, uses discredited information to falsely create a link between the Canadian Muslim community and violence overseas, exacerbates Islamophobia, and incites violence against the Muslim community. Recent acts of violence against the Muslim community have been shown to be motivated in part by exactly this type of reckless journalism.

Global News has consistently reported on the CRA’s decisions against Muslim charities, often relying only on preliminary allegations while neglecting the charities’ responses. Over the last few years numerous reports suggest that the CRA’s audits of Muslim charities are biased and rely on Islamophobic sources, which Stewart Bell has failed to mention.

Ultimately, the article simply rehashes baseless allegations from the CRA’s preliminary allegations already reported by other more balanced media stories. The Ontario Superior Court Judge has even indicated these allegations were biased and would not support an adverse decision by the CRA against MAC. 

In our submissions to the CRA, our organization addressed CRA’s  preliminary allegations comprehensively, and the CRA has taken into account all of MAC’s responses. 

As has previously been shared with the community, the CRA has made a preliminary decision which has not taken effect. We can confirm that MAC’s operations are not impacted in any way. 

We can confirm that the CRA did not base its decision on any allegations that associated MAC with the Muslim Brotherhood, IRFAN Canada, Qatar Charity, or any of the other preliminary allegations mentioned by Global News.

We are unfortunately limited in the extent of detail we can share at this point  due to the limitations imposed by the Income Tax Act. As well, MAC needs to protect its rights in possible future litigation. 

MAC has launched a website to present the facts surrounding these claims for the public:

https://charter.macnet.ca/

About the Audit: Since 2015, MAC has been subjected to an Audit by the CRA, which has not yet concluded. From its start, the Audit has been tainted by systemic bias and Islamophobia. Nevertheless, MAC has and continues to fully cooperate with the CRA.

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