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Sweet Taste of SinA Muslim Drug Dealer in a Nordic Welfare State

NCJ Number
Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention Volume: 11 Issue: 2 Dated: December 2010 Pages: 103-118
Sveinung Sandberg
Date Published
December 2010
16 pages
This article exlores the relationship of drug dealing and religion.
Moa is a 22-year-old Muslim dealer selling drugs at a street drug market in Oslo. The main part of the paper consists of long interview extracts from three interviews with him. The aim is to capture some of the ambivalence and complexity that might otherwise be lost in traditional scholarly analysis. In short, Moa tells how he got into drug dealing in the first place, the help he received from a well-meaning welfare state apparatus, his feelings of remorse, guilt, and shame, and the attempts he made to break with the drug trade and its life-style. Moa's story highlights differences between street life in a benevolent welfare state with a penal system famous for its open-handedness, and street life under harder socio-economic and penal conditions. Even though Moa has more opportunities than offenders elsewhere, failing in a society where most others succeed is different from failing in a larger marginalized community. Moa's story also challenges the public view of Muslim offenders and questions established assumptions about the relationship between Islam and crime. (Published Abstract)