Enlightened moderation is a term coined by former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf, which applies to practicing Islam moderately, as opposed to interpreting it in a fundamental way. To think properly as to rationalize thoughts, be on the positive side of life, to prefer optimism, and the theory is against extremism.
Musharraf explained his position in an opinion piece published in various newspapers in 2004. His plan for enlightened moderation has two sides. It calls "for the Muslim world to shun militancy and extremism and adopt the path of socioeconomic uplift" and "for the West, and the United States in particular, to seek to resolve all political disputes with justice and to aid in the socioeconomic betterment of the deprived Muslim world".
I say to my brother Muslims: The time for renaissance has come. The way forward is through enlightenment. We must concentrate on human resource development through the alleviation of poverty and through education, health care and social justice. If this is our direction, it cannot be achieved through confrontation. We must adopt a path of moderation and a conciliatory approach to fight the common belief that Islam is a religion of militancy in conflict with modernization, democracy and secularism. All this must be done with a realization that, in the world we live in, fairness does not always rule.
Fundamentalist Islamic organizations have criticized Musharraf's vision of enlightened moderation. The Jamaat-e-Islami condemns it as a neologism for Westernization and American imperialism. Islam is innately a religion of enlightened moderation, they argue, and needs no Westernized amendments. Masooda Bano points out that the US is not likely to "suddenly metamorphose into a benevolent entity, which will 'resolve all political disputes with justice.'"
References and notes
- "A Plea for Enlightened Moderation", by Pervez Musharraf, June 1, 2004, The Washington Post
- Ayman Al-Zawahiri's Interview to Al-Sahab (Part II): Osama Bin Laden Still Commands the Jihad, but the Jihad Is Larger than Individuals. Mujahideen Should Attack Oil Infrastructure in the Middle East
- , p.63
- A Plea for Enlightened Moderation
- Jamaat-e-Islami ""Enlightened Moderation" or the new US 'Religious Order'", by prof. Khurshid Ahmad, accessed 12 February 2005.
- Masooda Bano, "Unraveling 'Enlightened Moderation'", Al-Ahram, 17–23 June 2004 ,Issue No. 695