OTTAWA (Middle East Eye) – More than 130 civil society groups, charities and Muslim organizations in Canada have signed a letter urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of his cabinet to probe unfair tax audits that target and remove the status of Muslim charities.
The letter, sent by groups including the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the Edmonton Islamic Center, the London Muslim Mosque and others, calls on the Canadian government to issue a review of the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) processes in auditing charitable organizations in the country to ensure there is no bias or racial prejudice.
“Targeting Muslim charities on the basis of terrorist financing suspicions simply because of the religion they uphold is Islamophobic and prejudiced,” the letter read.
“Not only are Muslim organizations being targeted by the government with questionable and unfounded allegations of promoting radicalization, the process of an audit, and possible revocation, creates a chilling effect that can cripple the Canadian Muslim charitable community.”
Dismantling this prejudice is the first step in fighting against hate, the letter said.
It also called for an “immediate moratorium” on all audits targeting Muslim charities until a review is completed.
A recently released report from the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group said the CRA worked with national security agencies to carry out audits that unfairly target Muslim charities with little accountability.
The study reported that from 2008 to 2015, 75 percent of the organizations whose charitable status was revoked following audits were Muslim charities. At least another four charities have had their status pulled since then.
This comes amid rising instances of attacks across Canada against Muslim citizens and Islamic places of worship that authorities have admitted were “motivated by hate.”
In the latest “hate-fueled act” against Canadian Muslims, two young female siblings wearing the Islamic headdress of hijab were attacked earlier this week by a knife-wielding white man shouting racial slurs near the western city of Edmonton.
According to local press reports, one sister was grabbed by her hijab and thrown to the ground and knocked unconscious. The other sister was also struck to the ground and a knife was held at her throat while the suspect continued to scream racial slurs before running away.
Another deadly attack on Canadian Muslims came nearly two weeks ago as another white man in the eastern Ontario city of London plowed his pickup truck into a Muslim family of five, killing four of them and seriously injuring the other in a deliberate attack that targeted the victims because they looked Muslim.
“This was an act of mass murder perpetuated against Muslims,” London Mayor Ed Holder said. “It was rooted in unspeakable hatred. The magnitude of such hatred can make one question who we were as a city.”