This Muslim association's lawsuit shows a major gap in Canada's tax law — it doesn't understand Islamic charity

Canada’s regulations may categorize the activities of religious charities – especially Muslim ones – too rigidly.

Why It Matters

Muslim-led charities provide anything from prayer services to after school care for Canada’s Muslim (and non-Muslim) communities. Without the tax exemptions afforded by charitable status, some of these organizations may be unable to operate.

Muslim-led charities have complained about unfair scrutiny by Canada’s regulatory agencies ever since the 9/11 terror attacks. They point to exhaustive auditing, national security agencies scrutinizing their organization’s foreign correspondence, and the threat of charitable status revocation as clear-cut Islamophobia.

For what may be the first time ever, one such charity – the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) – is suing the Canada Revenue Agency over how it conducted an audit. “From the very beginning, the practices of the Audit have been both Islamophobic and dictated by systemic biases,” wrote MAC executive director Sharaf Sharafeldin in an open letter on the charity’s website from April 2022. “Had such an approach been taken with any other faith-based organization other than Isla

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