Adem EFE[1], Mehmet OZAY[2]


The social interactions of Malay Muslims with non-Muslim Malaysians emerged depending on the circumstances have become the subject of various researchers in the modern era. The concept of Halal Food, which has been popularized through the establishment of various religio-bureaucratic institutions, can be considered as a unique area for the ethno-relations around the food consumption in Malaysia. In this sense, the relationship of ethno-social and religious segments structured around the phenomenon of Halal Food conditioned around deserves to be considered as a research field of Sociology of Religion. This treaty deals with concisely the phenomenon of Halal Food which draws attention as one of the salient stages of the socio-political changing process in the country. This process, as a conscious preference of Malay political elites, has been the subject of construction which was supposed to guarantee social existence of Malay Muslims who had been recognized socio-economically as the underprivileged segment. The phenomenon of Halal Food, brought up through the various institutions in Malaysia, has not been in the personal initiative of the Malay Muslims, instead it has already been moved to public arena by the force of implementation of law. The usage of this phenomenon in technical sense attracts attention as one of the strong symbolic expressions of institutionalized Islam. This process work as two dimensions. The first one is related to demands of Malay Muslims who became the subject of expansion of higher education and urbanization especially since the late of 1970s and specially 1980s. On the other hand, it has also functioned as a vehicle to make the non-Muslim minorities to recognize that Islam is the dominant religio-cultural aspect of the Malaysian society. As revealed by some researchers, there is no doubt that the practices during this era not only correspond to social demands in one side, but also are considered as reflections of Islamization in political field owing to the internal and external factors.

Keywords: Halal Food, Malay Muslims, Globalization, Social change.

This paper was presented in the II. International Halal and Healthy Food Congress, 7-10 November, 2013, Konya-Turkey.

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[1]Süleyman Demirel University Faculty of Theology–Isparta, Turkey

[2]Researcher, Kuala Lumpur, Malezya.