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Islam at the Crossroads a Decade After 9/11: Democratic Revolutions Rock the Muslim World

It seemed unimaginable in 2001 that an insurgency would engulf Muslim nations less than a decade later, not with a cry for militant political Islam but for personal freedom.

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To succeed, the insurrection cannot depend exclusively on using the tools of modern technology or the language of participatory democracy. Egyptian women grasped this early in the protests. Many wore veils to signal their own conviction that the institutions of democracy and modernization are not inconsistent with Islamic values or contemptuous of the faithful.

The crucial challenge, the real test at the crossroads of history, is to convince the worldwide community of the Ummah that change is possible and critically necessary -- and that its intent is not heresy, but the fulfillment of one of Mohammed's key injunctions in conversations with his followers.

"What is the best type of Jihad?" Islam's founder is asked. "Speaking truth before a tyrannical ruler," he answers.


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