(Egypt Independent) — Female circumcision is part of the prophetic Sunnah, said MP Nasser al-Shaker of the Salafi-led Nour Party, who previously proposed a bill that would allow the practice.

On a morning show on Mehwar satellite TV station, Shaker said notable Egyptian scholars have said the practice is part of the Sunnah.

Imam Mohamed Sayed Tantawi, Abdel Halim Mahmoud, former Islamic Research Academy member Sheikh Attiya Saqr and former Egyptian Mufti Nasr Farid Wasel — all prominent Egyptian religious figures, the first three of whom have died — had all authorized the practice, also known as female genital mutilation, Shaker said.

Shaker said former first lady Suzanne Mubarak was the driving force behind banning it.

Randa Fakhr Eddin of the Cairo Coalition Against Female Genital Mutilation replied to Shaker’s statements, saying there is no consensus on the law by senior scholars or Islamists, and that Sayed Tantawi rejected the law in the 1990s, saying it was considered a cultural habit rather than a religious practice.

The issue surfaced after some people accused the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party of launching a charity medical campaign last month in Minya, during which they had performed the practice on some girls.

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