The reformist Islam approach assumes that reformist Islam is a crucial force for liberalization and democratization. This chapter explores how, and to what extent, reformist Islamic resources and their historical legacies acted as positive resources for liberalization and democratization in the twenty-first century. This chapter shows that, consistent with the expectations of the reformist Islam approach, liberal strains internal to the reformist discourses of political actors with Islamic modernist orientations since the 1930s, especially by Gayoom, played certain positive roles in democratization. However, this chapter also suggests the need to go ‘beyond Islam’ as assumed under the reformist Islam approach: first, at the level of ordinary people, reformist Islam had a broader connection to democratization in that reformist Islamic discursive resources (such as liberalized shura) and modernization supported by them brought about a bottom-up practical shift in ‘lived Islam’ instead of a theological reformation. Second, and more importantly, in a globalized context, human rights discourse taken up by local actors in an emergent oppositional public sphere, and abetted by external advocacy networks, did also play important roles in liberalization and democratization. This discourse and its key proponents did not prominently orient themselves in religious language or religious identities.