This reinforces my intuition that some Islamists mix up “traditions” they think are “Islamic” because belonging to local social practices with actual Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) – of which they are ignorant of – that escape proper territorial affiliations. It turns out that cutting the clitoris of young girls comes is an “African” practice that goes back to Pharaonic times, contradicting the Muslim brotherhood claim that it was “An Islamic matter”. It is counted as a crime today by Egyptian law.
This type of Islamists are simply trying to protect and fall back on “what we do in the community we identify with”. Simple conservatism? I’m not yet sure although definitely one type. But notice that, for it to be passed by law, it had to be proven that such practices are ‘unislamic’ imputing the blame on some alien ‘African’ ritual that has made its way into Islamic practices. Representation of the self in the Middle East will more and more be framed around what is Islamic and what is not, a mechanism that reminds one of European formations of what is the secular in the age of the nation.