Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states the following: “Kosher meat, strictly speaking, is considered halal. But this rule, it should be emphasized, does not apply indiscriminately to all kosher foods that are prepared and labeled as kosher, since it is possible they may contain wine or other ingredients that are considered haram. It is, therefore, necessary that we stringently inquire into the components of each food that is labeled as kosher; if a food is found to be free of haram ingredients, it shall be considered halal (permitted). Otherwise, it will be haram (forbidden) for us to consume.
If we don’t inquire into the details of the ingredients and the way kosher foods have been prepared, we may end up inadvertently eating what is haram—as happened to one of our sisters who was in a hospital in Toronto. She was served a kosher meal and consumed it thinking it was halal, but later she discovered that it had been prepared with wine.
Setting aside the jurisprudential aspects of kosher being halal or not, before deciding to purchase and consume kosher products, we should also take into consideration another important socio
political issue: by purchasing kosher foods, are we indirectly supporting the systematic displacement and genocide of our Palestinian brothers and sisters? This is not to say that this consideration renders purchasing kosher products haram, but it is to say that perhaps our economic power could be used more wisely.
Finally, if one was to objectively survey one’s local food retail landscape, there is clearly no shortage of vendors of Muslim halal products. Therefore, it is quite evident that circumstances requiring one to purchase kosher instead of Muslim halal would be few and far between.”