Expressing religious affinity in the marketplace is seldom controversial, regardless of faith orientation. But percolating disposable income across the Islamic world is lending support to curious forms of commercialization, including halal cat food and halal house paint. Our interpretation is far more benign than rising fundamentalism. Rather, manufacturers are trying to use halal certification to drive sales volume in highly competitive markets. Consumers themselves, perhaps with a nudge from authorities, will ultimately separate the wheat from the chaff, as companies discover that halal certification is no panacea for inadequate market research.

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