Halal Tourism: Gendered Muslim Aspirations and Material Counterpoints Amidst the Spoils of War in the Middle East


Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs




For residence at Columbia University, Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life


This project examines why entrepreneurs and consumers consider tourism to be an important site for producing Islamic piety and Muslim belongings—even in the face of the uncertainty and risk that mark shifting landscapes of conflict in the contemporary Middle East. By analyzing the activities of halal tourism purveyors and consumers spanning the Middle East, South-East Asia and Europe, this ethnographic study highlights how material relations figure in the production of Muslim gender dynamics, subjectivities, affinities and histories. “Halal Tourism” furthers our understanding of why spaces of leisure have become sites of violence and religious-secular contestation, as well as our understanding of the scale and complexity of transnational Muslim mobility and religious aspiration amidst global landscapes of political upheaval, conflict, and the ongoing refugee crisis.