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20 years after 9/11

Keiko Sakai sees Islam, democracy as compatible

Expert says deep understanding of each country's culture and traditions needed

A female taxi driver transports a passenger in Tehran in August 2011. About 500 women drive for the Women's Taxi company, which serves only female passengers. In Iran, women are playing an increasing role in society.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Will democracy ever take root in the Middle East? To this question, Chiba University professor Keiko Sakai answers that Islam is not necessarily incompatible with democracy. Nikkei interviewed Sakai about the responsibility the international community should take for the Islamic world. The following are edited excerpts from the interview.

The Middle East has long been considered a dangerous region. However, only since the start of the 21st century have terrorist attacks jumped globally, particularly from around 2004, and many occurred in the Middle East and South Asia. Before then, the Middle East did not have especially many conflicts or terrorist attacks.

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