Marriage “sharia style”: everyday practices of Islamic morality in England

Billaud, Julie (2018) Marriage “sharia style”: everyday practices of Islamic morality in England. Contemporary Islam. ISSN 1872-0218

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The growing visibility of Islam in the public spaces of Western societies is often interpreted in the media as a sign of Muslim radicalisation. This article questions this postulate by examining the flourishing Muslim marriage industry in the UK. It argues that these ‘halal’ services, increasingly popular among the young generation of British Muslims, reflect the semantic shifting of categories away from the repertoire of Islamic jurisprudence to cultural and identity labels visible in public space. Informed by long-term ethnographic fieldwork in the British field of Islamic law, this article examines a Muslim speed-dating event, which took place in central London in 2013. It investigates how Islamic morality is maintained and negotiated in everyday social interactions rather than cultivated via discipline and the pursuit of virtuous dispositions. Using Goffman’s “frame analysis” and his interpretation of the social as a space of “performances” as well as recent anthropological reflections on “ordinary ethics” (Lambek) and “everyday Islam” (Schielke, Osella and Soares), it examines the potential for such practices to define the contours of a new public culture where difference is celebrated as a form of distinction.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Rights and Justice Research Centre
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Depositing User: Julie Billaud
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2018 10:18
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2018 10:18

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