I think John Howard is a little too enthusiastic about Indonesia, where there is still a troubling level of Islamic violence against minority religious groups, and about the so-called Arab Spring.
There is reasonable concern that movements interpreted by the West as movements for democratic reform in Arab nations will only be democratic until Wahhabist governments are installed. Democracy is antithetic to Wahhabist thought since the obligation of Muslims is to work for the implementation of Sharia, while democracy places the opinions of men (and even kaffirs) above Islamic law.
Hence protests like this in Western democracies:
Nonetheless, Howard is right both to identify many positive changes in the world over the last ten years, and to assert the need for continuing effort and care.