Quora Answer - Is There an Islamic Nation Not Considered Proper by the Muslims
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is my answer to a Quora question: “Is there a Muslim nation not considered Islamic by Muslims?”
A nation is “Islamic” by its values, not by virtue of the number of people who claim adherence to Islam. The values of Islam are universal values, and not exclusive to the Muslims. The Message of compassion, of justice, of love and more was Sent to all mankind, and we all have that within us. In that light, I cannot say that there are any Muslim majority nations that I would consider Islamic. If the leadership is corrupt, it is not Islamic even if they state the national religion is Islam. If they oppress minorities and non-Muslims, they are not Islamic. If they elevate one race above others, such as the bumiputera policy in Malaysia, they are not Islamic. If they deny women suffrage, deny freedom of religion, or impose narrow interpretations of jurisprudence, they are not Islamic. If they practice extreme nationalism, such as Pakistan, that is aswswabiyyah, and that is not Islamic. If corruption is endemic, that is not Islamic.
Our criteria of what we expect from an Islamic state is the Madinan state of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), no less. If even one element of those values are missing, then that polity has no right to desecrate Islam and the sunnah, and claim to be Islamic. I think Singapore is far more Islamic than any Muslim nation. We have low corruption. We are a secular state, and there is freedom of religion. We are a meritocracy, and do not discriminate against people by virtue of their race or religion. Unlike a certain Muslim neighbour, the zakat is not stolen, and money in the haj fund does not disappear.