When McDonald's announced it would discontinue the sale of halal chicken nuggets and chicken sandwiches at two restaurants earlier this week, it brought to light a thorny issue riling the Muslim-American community: inconsistent halal standards and fraudulent advertising and marketing of Islamically permitted products.

The United States is now home to thousands of halal-compliant food industry businesses, offering Muslim Americans a choice of offerings and convenience that earlier generations could only have imagined.

But this booming halal market is often accompanied by a lack of consensus about what constitutes halal — and that has caused confusion and controversy among Muslim Americans. In addition, several well-publicized incidents of fraud have left halal consumers vulnerable to unscrupulous merchants and suspicious about the sources of the products they are buying.

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