A central theme of this book concerns the urgency of political, economic, and social change away from old authoritarian orders in the Middle East. For purposes of the book the term "Muslim" includes all who believe in and practice Islam or who consider themselves to be Muslim in a cultural sense, part of a Muslim society whether practicing or not. Much of the book is also concerned with the phenomenon of Islamic "fundamentalism". Islamism can be usefully called "political Islam", for it is Islam's political role that is the focus of greatest policy attention. The book devotes special attention to the "fault line" that runs geographically between the Islamic world and the Christian world, starting with the Mediterranean—across which Muslims and Westerners view each other—southward into Africa, up through the Balkans, across the Caucasus, and on into Central Asia.