The head of the military government that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammad Morsi from power in Cairo has taken the highly unusual step of calling for the reformation of Islam.
Such actions have in the past brought down the wrath of Islamists who typically label anyone calling for reform an apostate.
First, a quick look back: On September 11, 2001, the world awoke to two terrible tragedies; the one that was seen by millions of people on live television as Muslim extremists crashed passenger planes into the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, the Pentagon, just outside Washington, D.C. and in a field in rural Pennsylvania.
The other reality was far more complex than and not as visible as jetliners slamming into sky scrapers. That was the fact that there was something terribly wrong within the House of Islam.
If the first issue, that of terrorism, was addressed by military force, as was the U.S. reply to 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan and ultimately, of Iraq, the second issue, that afflicting the followers of one of the great religions, Islam, had to be addressed from within.
This is an extremely sensitive topic. Due to the very nature of militant Muslims who have quite literally hijacked the religion to suit their political objectives, projecting an image of violence and non-tolerance of anyone not accepting their medieval views of the world. All experts who followed the debate were quite adamant in their prognostics of what was the solution to the crisis tearing Islam apart: that a solution had to come from within Islam.
In no manner could it be imported from the West. The problem was that no one leader in the Arab and/or Muslim world dared speak up, lest they be accused of apostasy. That is until now.
In an extremely rare display of courage and bravery by a leader in the Arab world General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces and current head of state, spoke out for the need of reformation in Islam. During a speech, which went unreported by the Western media, General El-Sisi delivered at the Armed Forces' Department of Moral Affairs in Cairo, the general stated: "Religious discourse is the greatest battle and challenge facing the Egyptian people, pointing to the need for a new vision and a modern, comprehensive understanding of the religion of Islam-rather than relying on a discourse that has not changed for 800 years."
Coming from the current ruler and very possibly the next president of Egypt, this statement carries great importance and must not be underestimated by any means.