Halal and Malay Middle-Class Mobility in Malaysia

  • Johan Fischer
Part of the Contemporary Anthropology of Religion book series (CAR)


In this chapter, I discuss the way in which Islam has been nationalized and halal has been standardized in Malaysia. This has taken place through Malaysia’s bold halal vision. I will provide a glimpse into Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS), social and physical mobility among the Malay middle class, food and middle-class practice, the ethnic Chinese and Malay other, and middle-class Malays in London. These discussions provide the reader with a broader context for exploring “halal” using a multisited perspective that follows Malays from Malaysia to Britain and traces the global circulation of halal commodities. I show that halal has become entangled in complex webs of political, ethnic, and national significance in modern Malaysia. The concept of a “frontier” refers to different arguments presented in this chapter. Malaysia is a good example of a frontier where different class, religious, and ethnic cultures interpenetrate in a dynamic manner. As we shall see, in modern Malaysia, halal is no longer a question of a national or inner frontier but part of a vision to globalize halal markets on a frontier such as London.


Islamic Finance Consumer Association Strait Time Halal Food United Malay National Organisation 
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Copyright information

© Johan Fischer 2011

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  • Johan Fischer

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