Image 1 of 8: After Gaddafi, Islam turned on Islam and the negative elements of the 'religion' the flamboyant tyrant had suppressed were unleashed. Salafis or extreme Islamists channeled their puritanical zeal at Sufi mosques in a bulldozing demolition, reminding the world that Muslims had a knack for creating enemies within.
Image 1 of 8: Some may think women's lib is in wearing less clothes, but for Egyptian ladies it's often been about donning another layer. One for the veil champions, woman-power was celebrated by conservative Muslims in majority-veiled Egypt, as a sweet Hijabi victory saw Egypt's first veiled news anchor proudly broadcasting on state TV.
Image 1 of 8: Anti-Islamic video: The video that stirred up a lot of pent up fury against America did nothing for Islam, and even less for freedom of speech. By the time the Muslim world was spent of protest about their scorned Prophet, others had their guards up about offending the sensitive faith. A film questioning Islam's origins was banned in the UK.
Image 1 of 8: The Arab Spring went 'Islamic', with power gains that saw MB's Morsi take to the helm of the most populous Arab country. All eyes are on this new brand of Muslim leader to 'save' Palestine (home of Islam's sacred Aqsa) from Israel's offensive in Gaza, but hopes had already been dashed when he wouldn't budge on the infamous Israeli peace treaty.
Image 1 of 8: The label Axis of Evil has a tendency to stick. And the Islamic Republic of Iran with its nuclear potential, the Syrian regime (in Muslim hands) slaying its way through its people, and Hezbollah (Party of God) standing suspected of murdering at least two Lebanese heroes, have collectively certainly fueled the trio's bad rap.
Image 1 of 8: Muslims go to Vegas: Another 12 lunar months has been plenty of time to drag Mecca further from its humble desert beginnings. Hajj-Vegas is the catch-phrase being used to describe the phenomenon of dramatic modernization to Islam's holy sites. Critics do not take a kind view to the grounds gained in Mecca's expansion skyward and upmarket.
Image 1 of 8: Divided they fall: The Mideast region in the course of the year has become even more charged by sectarian divisions now more amplified since the Arab uprisings. Syria's 'war within' alone has caused shifts in the region that are resulting in a more absolute Sunni-Shia polarization. An embarrassing state of affairs for the Islamic ummah.
Image 1 of 8: Burka ban in France: While some of the Arab world was getting a more Islamic coating, one country in Europe at least was trying to shake off its Muslim shackles and traditions. France slapped Islam in the face figuratively when it issued a ban on the face-veil or 'burka' worn by some Muslims.
As we usher in the New 'Hijri'* Year, 1434, for Muslims, we cast our eyes back over the year gone by to glean an impression of how the religion fared in 1433. A review of Islam's highs and lows, gains and losses, inroads and setbacks in the course of a Hijri calendar year follows, looking mainly at the Middle East with its high penetration by the faith.
From negative PR to failed delivery on expectations and promises to forge a better world for the people it purports to protect, Islam has made perhaps less advances than crusaders would wish.
*Hijrah is the starting point for counting years in the Hijri calendar, and marks the point when Prophet Muhammad migrated from Makkah to Madinah (approximately July 622 A.D.).