Muslim charities concerned about targeted audits call for security watchdog probe

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Thursday June 24, 2021 - 11:07:18 in News In English by Ali Adan
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    Muslim charities concerned about targeted audits call for security watchdog probe

    Muslim charities from across Canada, fearful they are being unfairly singled out for audits, want the national security watchdog to investigate the matter.

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Muslim charities from across Canada, fearful they are being unfairly singled out for audits, want the national security watchdog to investigate the matter.

Charities, non-profit organizations and supportive civil society voices are flagging the concerns in a letter sent Wednesday to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several members of his cabinet.

A recently released report by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group said the Review and Analysis Division of the Canada Revenue Agency’s charities directorate works with national security agencies to carry out the audits, with little accountability.

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It said that from 2008 to 2015, 75 per cent of the organizations whose charitable status was revoked following division audits were Muslim charities, and that at least another four have had their status pulled since then.

It added that despite these revocations, not a single Muslim charitable organization or individual associated with one had been charged with a terrorist financing crime.

In response to the report, the Canada Revenue Agency said it does not select registered charities for audit based on any particular faith or denomination, adding it is firmly dedicated to diversity, inclusion and anti-racism.

Still, the 129 signatories of the letter to Trudeau, including the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the Edmonton Islamic Centre, the London Muslim Mosque, the Ottawa-based ICLMG and other civil society organizations, want the Liberal government to implement the monitoring group report's recommendations.

The report urged the government to refer the issue to Canada's security watchdog, the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, for an examination of the Review and Analysis Division's processes to ensure organizations are not being targeted due to racial or religious prejudice.

It also said Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier should declare an immediate moratorium on the targeted audit of Muslim charities until the review is complete.

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