Without a doubt these Muslims who call themselves moderate Muslims, or ascribe themselves to what is called modern Islam are a new group or sect of Islam. This is how I believe we should view these people, as a new sect, and although they are a new sect and group of Islam, they are far from Muslims, they are nothing more than posers and apostates, they have nothing to do with Islam or the true Muslim nation.
For starters, there is no such Islamic term called moderate Muslim, this is an invented word which they have made up with no authority or permission from Allah, similar to the pagans of 1400 years ago:
“These are nothing but names which ye have devised,- ye and your fathers,- for which Allah has sent down no authority (whatever). They follow nothing but conjecture and what their own souls desire!- Even though there has already come to them Guidance from their Lord!” (The Holy Quran 53:23)
The pagans during the time of the prophet Muhammad had invented names for their gods, and had ascribed certain powers to these deities, now other than doing this the pagans also thought to often justify their pagan acts as something good and not bad. This is similar to these moderates, they have named themselves with such a term of which they were given no authority, and they have simply follow their own flimsy desires.
Other than calling themselves moderate Muslims which is an innovation, they ascribe themselves to what is called modern Islam, another act of innovation, very much like the pagans who invented up these false gods and tried to justify it. These moderates have essentially formed a religion which has nothing and I repeat NOTHING to do with Islam, make no doubt moderate Islam is not Islam, nor does it have anything to do with Allah or true Islam. Very much like the pagans, they had set up false gods and claimed that it was okay, that it was the true path and there was nothing wrong with it.
These moderate Muslims have several kufr (disbelieving) beliefs in their aqeedah (principles of faith/fundamentals). For one, they are against sharia law, although this is something called and legislated for in the Noble Quran:
“ It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.”(The Holy Quran 33:36)
So note when Allah and the prophet make a decision it is not for a believer to have an option that contradicts the decision, and if one does so then he is on the wrong path.
Now the Quran is full of laws concerning several aspects of life, such as marriage, divorce, how to deal with criminals, and the life-style a Muslim should live. The Sunnah of the prophet also does the same, it goes into more specific details of how to conduct yourself and so on.
Moderate Muslims call for the exact opposite of this, they say Sharia has no place in society today and that secularism should rule the society, this contradicts the Quran, and the Sunnah, and as the Quran says such people are on the wrong path.
By denying Sharia law moderates essentially deny Islam as a whole, because Sharia calls for women to wear hijab, that an adulterer gets punished and so on. Moderates don’t believe in Sharia hence they don’t believe women should wear hijab, nor do they believe in punishments for those who commit adultery, so essentially moderate Muslims say it’s okay to go out and commit adultery! Indeed these people have nothing to do with Islam!
And Allah Knows Best!