Representations of the 'Other' are invariably associated with European or Western perceptions of Islam, Muslims and the Orient. However, as this article argues, the world of Islam was never monolithic and Muslims held widely differing views of each other. Even among 'fellow' North Africans, such as Egyptians and Maghribis, collective regional or local identities developed and furnished the ... [Show full abstract] material for self-identification built upon perceived differences among the 'others'. In discussing the religio-cultural bases for these differences, the author examines Malikism, Maghribi Islam as practised in the Mashriq, including Sufism, as well as varying ideas regarding urbanity and cosmopolitanism. He concludes with an analysis of how the Moroccan state and its representatives often sought legitimacy in the Mashriq despite the fact that the Sharifian Empire was a rival of the Ottomans and that Moroccan ulema often saw the Mashriqis as lax in the practice of their religion.