That term tends to evoke the idea of those things which make up all others.  Technically, it is possible to split an element into the components of electron, neutron, and proton, but at that point, the element is lost.  Elements have particular qualities and are known by their behavior interacting with similar and different other elements.  Watching the behavior of an unknown element is the way to identify it.  Tests can be done on an unknown substance and according to how it behaves in certain circumstances, the identity is determined.  The same can be said for islam.  Their behavior is not an aberration, it is an essential quality.  Since the muslim is a known and celebrated lyer, (they even have a word for that behavior-taqiyya)  it’s best to look at the behavior.  Identity will be known.  That is why I call them totalitarian tribal – a political ideology.