Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Halal frontier

Fischer's short study provides a fascinating window into numerous topics of extreme importance to anthropologists, while offering greater insight into the moral and practical concepts and concerns of Muslims in the West and even in Muslim-majority societies--concepts and concerns shared, always in locally-specific forms--by members of all religions in all parts of the modern world."--Anthropology Review Database
“Today, the rapidly growing 'halal' economy transforms mundane acts of shopping and consumption into acts of conspicuous piety among millions of consumers from Kuala Lumpur over the Middle East to London. This innovative study is a must read for anyone interested in the material dimensions of religion in the contemporary world.”—Thomas Blom Hansen, Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor in South Asian Studies and Professor in Anthropology, Stanford University
“In this fascinating study of halal regulating and producing, Fischer illuminates an oft-neglected example of globalization. He shows how Malaysian halal regulation is in fact the regulation of what it is to be a Muslim and traces its interface with the liberal marketplace of halal-authorizing in Britain and discourses of science and animal rights.”—John Richard Bowen, Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in Arts & Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis
“When Tesco, the second-largest retailer in the world, makes a major commitment to source halal products, you know something big is afoot in the landscapes of food politics, global consumption, and religious piety. Tracking the role and transformation of halal consumption between the Malaysian middle class and its Diasporas in London and beyond, Fischer has authored a compelling and highly readable account of science, sanitization, and the dilemmas of secularism for Muslim Malays and/as everyday consumers. A remarkable and unique book.”—Bill Maurer, Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine

About the Author

Johan Fischer is Associate Professor of International Development Studies in the Department of Society and Globalization at Roskilde University. He has been a Visiting Research Fellow at both the National University of Singapore and Goldsmiths College, University of London and has been a Teaching Fellow at the University of Copenhagen. He has spent years doing fieldwork in Malaysia and the UK and has worked with NGOs in Thailand and South Africa. Fischer is also the author of Proper Islamic Consumption (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies Press) and numerous articles and chapters.