Religion is big business nowadays. Within the global context of Muslim consumers Islamic commodities have become increasingly popular over the past few decades. Faegheh Shirazi
, Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, explores the industrial and discursive production of halal products in Brand Islam: The Marketing and Commodification of Piety
(University of Texas Press
, 2016). In the wake of increased insecurity due to the rise of anti-Muslim sentiments and policy, Islamic-branded products have become an essential means for shaping and expressing social identities. The commodification of a religious orientation has produced a halal consumerism that pervades the branding and marketing logic of several industries. In our conversation we discuss the corporatization of the halal food industry, Islamic products and non-Muslim publics, the politics of slaughtering animals, Islamic branded toys, such as hijabi dolls, cosmetic and toiletry products, and the Muslim fashion industry.
Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab
(Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph entitled
The Cinematic Lives of Muslims, and is the editor of the forthcoming volumes
Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (ILEX Foundation) and
New Approaches to Islam in Film (Routledge). You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at email@example.com.