Judge expresses sympathy, but rules audit of Muslim charity should run its course


An Ontario Superior Court judge has dismissed a major Muslim charity’s bid to halt a Canada Revenue Agency audit, saying it is too early to intervene in the federal examination.

In his ruling, Justice Markus Koehnen says while he is sympathetic to many of the Muslim Association of Canada’s arguments, a court should not involve itself in a government body’s process while it is still playing out.

The association, a grassroots Muslim charity, contends that a long-running revenue agency audit of its activities is fundamentally tainted by systemic bias and Islamophobia.

The association had asked the court to halt the audit on the grounds it violates Charter of Rights guarantees of equality and freedom of religion, expression and association.

The federal government argued the case should be dismissed, saying the revenue agency’s selection of the association for an audit and the subsequent examination do not infringe Charter rights.

The association, while applauding elements of the court ruling, is considering an appeal, saying the decision places Canadians at the mercy of potentially biased government action.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2023.

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