Australian companies remove kashrut certification symbols over halal fears


(JTA) — A number of companies in Australia have removed kosher certification symbols from their packaging due to pushback over halal certification.

Rumors that money raised from halal certification helps fund terrorism are spurring the pushback, the general manager of the Kosher Australia certification, Yankel Wajsbort, told the Australian Jewish Times, and companies have called the Victorian-based kashrut certification authority and asked that the kosher symbols be removed.

The companies reportedly believe it is better to have no identifying religious certification at all.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre and the Australian Crime Commission both reject the halal-terrorist link rumors, saying there is no evidence to support them, according to the AJN.

“In the last three months we have probably received 10 requests from companies that say they support kosher and want to stay kosher, but how do they argue that it’s different to halal,” Wajsbort told the newspaper. “Of those 10, we have had four or five companies that have asked to remove our symbol.”

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