Material Muslim Authority: Danish Debates about Religious Markets

In: Journal of Muslims in Europe
Johan Fischer Associate Professor, PhD, Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University Roskilde Denmark

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The increasing visibility of halal (meat) products in non-Muslim countries, such as Denmark, highlights the central and controversial role of Muslim authority in the regulation/certification of halal products along two axes: Muslims/non-Muslims and divergent Muslim groups/organisations. Using qualitative data gathered through participant observation and interviews conducted at Muslim organisations and businesses in and around Copenhagen, I argue that halal production and regulation is a constructive lens through which to explore why and how Muslim authority and legitimacy are generated and contested in contemporary Denmark. Muslim authority within the halal market evidently emerges at the interface between local and international Muslim organisations/certifiers, the state and consumers.

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