Hamza Yusuf quoted in his article "When you're a statistic" :
In Alice in Wonderland, when Alice questions Humpty Dumpty about his usage of words, he says, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
Alice responds, “The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
Humpty Dumpty replies, “The question is which is to be master – that’s all.” That is, which definition is going to be definitive?
The article is basically asking us, who speaks for Islam? Are we going to let the others who don't understand about Islam, or worse, hate Islam - define to others what Islam is?
The problem with most Muslim especially in my region is, we are shy about being M.uslim and about making prominent our Muslim characteristics - such as giving salam to others, saying 'insyaAllah (if God wills), keeping to our 5 daily prayers (and not hide the fact that you're going for prayer when people ask), being sincere and honest at work!, not backbiting others, ability to answer people when people ask 'so what is Islam?'
When people ask what Islam is, we need to know what to answer. Our first answer shouldn't be about the prayers and the fasting etc. It should be about the very basic belief.
The basis of Islam is the believe in ONLY ONE GOD, the Creator of the Universe. He has no partners, no children and He is unlike any of His creations.
And we submit ourselves to the Will of the Creator - that is by abiding to His Words and His Commands, sent through his Messengers.
That is the very basis of our faith. And then, the other details such as who are His Messengers, what are His Books? etc.