Muhammad in Europe
by Minou ReevesImprint: Garnet Authors: Minou Reeves ISBN: 9781859641231 Binding: Hardback Publication Date: 1999 RRP:
"...eloquently written in clear prose, free from academic verbiage, and it should prove interesting to anyone interested in history, religion or even today’s international affairs.”Malvern Gazette & Ledbury Reporter
"a useful and salutary guide...a timely reminder of a great flaw in the Western vision of the world."The Times Weekend
“impressive”World Without Frontiers (BBC Radio Arabic Programme)
“provides us a very large lighting about the political and cultural context of each period, so that we understand better Europeans’ views on Muhammad”The European Review
Generations of Western writers from the Crusades down to the present day have claimed to depict the life and personality of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. Over the course of thirteen centuries, biased and stubbornly negative representations have persisted, presenting images which bear no resemblance to the noble figure familiar to Muslims. Muhammad in Europe traces this consistent tradition of distortion and provides an account of the reasons behind it.
Prefaced by a biographical sketch of Muhammad’s life based on original sources, this book traces the defining eras of Western history and thinking, showing how Muhammad and Islam have been used as foils to Western thought. Today, most Westerners have inherited the assumption that there was something wrong with Muhammad’s character and behaviour, a belief that has helped to kindle the suspicion and resentment toward the West manifested in what is popularly called Islamic Fundamentalism.
Drawing on works dating from the Middle Ages to the last decade of the twentieth century and spanning Latin, Italian, French, German and English language sources, the book culminates with a critical analysis of Salman Rushdie’s controversial novel, The Satanic Verses. Muhammad in Europe tells the riveting story of Muhammad’s reception in the West, a story of rivalry and confrontation.
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