Who are the Islamists?
ISIS is spreading what? What is their nationality? Or that of the AlQaeda, Talibaans or of the Wahabis?
Religion is an important identifier both for positive work and for destructive ones [think of Christian Missionaries or of the Crusaders].,
It is one thing to identify a footballer as a Muslim first and a footballer of a given nationality later, and it is a different and wholly valid consideration to ask how many Muslims are playing in the WC. Who challenges this?
There is no denying that a Muslim footballer is a Muslim, too, and that identity does matter at some level, and has a valid context. It would be hypocritical to deny that.
And this kind of analysis helps to understand what is happening to and within a community. How is it evolving etc.
Why does the Muslim press go gaga when a certain boxer like Classius Clay convert, or a singer like Michael Jackson convert? Shouldn’t their identities as boxer and singer have sufficed to like or dislike them?
Syed Shahabuddin’s famous expression “Muslim Indians” tackled this question very vividly a long time ago.
If religious identification is bogus, so are expressions like “majority”, “minority”, and concepts like reservations.