Moderate Muslim is a label used within counterterrorism discourse as the complement of "Islamic extremism", implying that the support of Islamic terrorism is the characteristic of a "radical" faction within Islam, and that there is a "moderate" faction of Muslims who denounce terrorism.
Lorenzo G. Vidino describes the term as "inherently controversial", and scholars have argued that Muslim populations predictably find the "moderate Muslim" label offensive. Cherney and Murphy argue that the categorisations of moderate/extremist are not neutral, and that their widespread deployment "deprives Muslims of the agency to define the parameters of the debate around counterterrorism and also the terms of reference through which they are labelled as either for or against terrorism." Although some Muslims do employ the use of such language, it is seen by others as further stigmatising Muslim communities and Islam.
Some consider the "moderate Muslim" label offensive, as they believe that it implies ordinary Islam is not inherently peaceful. Others believe that it implies that "moderate Muslims" are not "fully Muslim", or that the term equivalates "progressive" or "secular" with "moderate". Others, such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reject the term as a Western notion stating that there is only one Islam.
- Khan, ed., M. A. Muqtedar (2007). Debating Moderate Islam: The Geopolitics of Islam and the West. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press.
- Corbett, Rosemary R. (2016). Making Moderate Islam: Sufism, Service, and the "Ground Zero Mosque" Controversy. Stanford University Press.
- Manzoor, Sarfraz (16 March 2015). "Can we drop the term 'moderate Muslim'? It's meaningless". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
- Younus, Shireen. "I Am Not a Moderate Muslim". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
- Erdoğan criticizes Saudi Crown Prince’s ‘moderate Islam’ pledge, Hurriyet, 10 Nov 2017
- The Plight of the Hypocrites
- The Mix of Disbelieving People
- Cherney, Adrian; Murphy, Kristina (11 January 2016). "What does it mean to be a moderate Muslim in the war on terror? Muslim interpretations and reactions". Critical Studies on Terrorism. 9 (2): 159–181. doi:10.1080/17539153.2015.1120105.
- Corbett, Rosemary R. Making Moderate Islam: Sufism, Service, and the "Ground Zero Mosque" Controversy. Stanford University Press, 2016.