At the height of the latest Islamic rage, one of the Muslim world's first media-celebrity imams told worshippers they were indeed witnessing a clash of civilizations. But just not the kind you think.
This one also is within Islam, and it helps explain the multiple personalities of the fury.
It's political: The uncompromising ethos of extremism clawing for any gains against more moderate voices. It's social: Fed by an explosive blend of economic stagnation, anger over U.S.-led wars and — in some places — frustrations as the soaring hopes of the Arab Spring hit the grinding realities of rebuilding.
And it cuts deeply into questions that have added resonance in a hyper-connected world that moves at the quicksilver pace of the web: How to coexist with the free-speech openness of the West and whether violence is ever a valid response.
"Our manner of protesting should reflect sense and reason," urged Egyptian-born cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi in his Friday sermon in Qatar's capital Doha, where he has found a worldwide audience through the web and a show on the pan-Arab network Al-Jazeera.