Featuring Immanuel Wallerstein, Joseph Massad, Marnia Lazreg, and other well-known and emerging new authors, this book seeks a more accurate understanding of Islam and Islamic societies' role and relations to global cultural and economic realities. The book confronts a trend today of analyzing Islam as a "cultural system" that stands outside of, and even predates, modernity. The authors see this trend as part of a racist discourse unaware of the realities of contemporary Islam. Islamic societies today are products of the world capitalist system and cannot be understood as being separate from its forces. The authors offer a more carefully constructed and richer portrait of Islamic societies today and forcefully challenge the belief that Islam is not part of, nor much affected by, the modern world-system.