The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is removing the charity status of the Ottawa Islamic Center and Assalam Mosque because of hate speech concerns. As Global News reports, one of the Canadian capitol’s largest mosques has been cited for “activities that promote hate and intolerance.”
The CRA made the decision after reviewing the subject matter of a series of guest speakers who came to the mosque to deliver addresses.
“Many of the views expressed by the organization’s speakers are misogynistic, homophobic, racist and/or promote violence,” reads a report from the CRA Charities Branch obtained by Global News that was sent to the mosque.
The CRA is also alarmed that the mosque is producing “radicalized individuals” like Ashton Larmond, who is in jail today because he tried to join the Islamic State.
Though the tax agency cannot absolutely demonstrate a connection between the mosque and Islamic extremism, it contends there is a “possibility.”
The CRA says it has frequently warned the mosque about the toxic subject matter of its guest speakers but these alarms apparently fell on deaf ears because there was “no indication that the organization has implemented any due diligence procedures with respect to the vetting of its guest speakers.”
Mosque officials suggested it was all a misunderstanding: “We were really shocked this happened to us,” Mosque secretary Muhammad Haile told Global News. “We don’t tolerate any hate.”
Losing charitable status can cost an organization a lot in terms of paying more money to the federal government and not allowing contributions to the organization to be written off as tax deductions.