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Abstract

The growing visibility of Islam in the public spaces ofWestern 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.

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