Feeding secularism: Consuming halal among the Malays in London

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Fischer begins with the observation that in the wake of Islamic revivalism, halal (lawful or permitted) markets are expanding on a global scale, and that London has emerged as a center for halal production, trade, and consumption at a time when its meaning and practices are being transformed and contested. He argues that in the eyes of many Muslims in Britain, this proliferation of halal calls attention to a form of impotent state secularism: the more the culture of Islamic consumption asserts itself, the more the state’s incapacity to define what is legitimate in the community’s life is felt. Discussing ethnographic material from fieldwork among Malay Muslim migrants living in London, Fischer shows how halal evokes a range of sensibilities, attitudes, assumptions, and behavior that may support or undermine secularism as a political doctrine and “the secular” as an epistemic category in everyday life. He shows how Islamic organizations in Britain claim authority through halal in the interfaces of expanding markets, secularism, and the rights and demands of a growing group of Muslim consumers. These claims emerge in a society where powerful political discourses identify the veiling of Muslim women as an undesirable Islamic practice in public life, whereas halal is undergoing a revolution in a discursive vacuum.
Udgave nummer2/3
Sider (fra-til)275-297
StatusUdgivet - 2005

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