The Canada Revenue Agency’s anti-terrorism team has alleged potential links between a Hamas support network and the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), a prominent Islamic charity operating nationally.
MAC has since denied any terrorism connections, labeling the audit as “Islamophobic.”
According to the French-language outlet La Presse, initiated in 2015 under the Anti-terrorism Law, the investigation involved 30 visits, 27 interviews, and financial scrutiny.
The MAC challenged the process, citing a violation of the organization’s Charter Rights and Freedoms.
Reports allege Julianne Myska, an employee with the task force, expressed concern in a December 2022 affidavit over MAC’s alleged links to a Hamas support network. Hamas has been a designated terrorist group in Canada since 2002.
True North reached out to MAC to provide the organization with an opportunity to comment on the allegations but did not receive a response.
“The involvement of directors/employees in an apparent network of support for Hamas is troubling,” alleged Myska.
A letter submitted before the court claimed “the preliminary results of the audit seem to suggest that (MAC) is linked to individuals or groups associated with extremism, violence and/or terrorism.”
MAC has held that “from its beginning, the audit was colored by systemic bias and Islamophobia” and that the group represents a “moderate, balanced and constructive” religious approach.
The evidence is yet to be tested in court, and MAC maintains the allegations will be proven false.
Based on the audit, the CRA has threatened to revoke the organization’s charitable status.
Complicating matters, MAC receives public funds, including federal support for anti-hate crime programs.
Court documents reveal accusations of supporting a charity, International Relief for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN), whose charitable status was revoked for financing Hamas.
The CRA audit claimed that MAC continued to support IRFAN “well after the revocation of its status for, in particular, having (supported) the registered terrorist entity Hamas” by lending its mailing list for donations and including the group at its events.
Accusations extend beyond financial ties, with officials citing alleged statements by MAC leaders glorifying violence, including a controversial 2011 speech and other ties.
The speech reportedly advocated for compelling women to provide sex on demand to their husbands under threat of damnation, while another statement mentioned “killing Zionists.”
The CRA cited a MAC leader for serving in an advisory capacity to Muslim Brotherhood leader and former president of Egypt Mohamed Morsi.
“The Canada Revenue Agency has not found evidence to suggest that the organization is directly influenced by its foreign donors, but the fact that some of these donors are known to promote extremist ideology or associate with groups terrorism is a concern,” court documents claimed.
“Certain public statements by individuals involved in MAC (…) appeared to glorify or encourage violence, including murder, or undermine women’s rights.”