Under Layered Suspicion: A Review of CRA Audits of Muslim-led Charities
On March 29, 2021 the National Council of Canadian Muslims together with the Institute of Islamic Studies at the University of Toronto, released a report titled “Under Layered Suspicion: A Review of CRA Audits of Muslim-led Charities”. On the same day, Canadian Muslim leaders met with MPs and leaders from every party to discuss the findings of that report.
Our findings suggest that there is a basis for community concerns about the CRA. We found that the CRA has implicit biases and practices that unfairly target Muslim charities in Canada. You can read our groundbreaking report here.
The report shows how these supposedly ordinary audits were coloured by Canada’s Risk-based Assessment Model, highlighting anti-terrorism financing and counter-radicalization policies. Through this assessment, Canada has identified 100% of terrorist financing risk to be coming from groups that implicate racialized and religious minorities, of which 80% of that risk is identified as coming from groups associated with Islam or Muslims.
It is unsurprising, therefore, that Canadian Muslim-led charities are feeling disproportionately and unfairly profiled by the CRA.
UPDATE (November 25, 2022)
We know that Muslim charities have been unfairly surveilled in Canada.
That’s why after our major report with the U of T, and months of community advocacy, the government admitted there was a potential problem and called for a review into how the CRA audits Muslim charities.
We’ve been advocating since the review was called for to ensure that there was full disclosure.
It appears that we were right to be concerned.
This week, the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman expressed his concerns to the Senate Committee on Human Rights that the review he was tasked with will have major gaps and that he would be unable to ascertain all sides of the story because of a lack of access to the files his office needs to conduct a fulsome review.
It would make little sense to conduct a review of systemic racism and Islamophobia at the CRA that doesn’t actually work.
We will provide further updates as they become available.