What is it for someone to be a Muslim? What is it for a society, or indeed a state, to be Islamic? These are questions that have been fermenting in the background of Islam since the first Caliphs, at least since the Kharijite schism, the first time Islam split, and different sections of Islam started applying takfir (or excommunication) to each other.
In the late C19th, the Egyptian Islamic jurist and later Grand Mufti of Egypt Mohammad Abduh travelled to the West. Upon his return he noted: “I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I got back to the East and saw Muslims, but not Islam.”Dr. Azeem Ibrahim