Generations of Western writers—from the Crusades to the present day—have written portraits claiming to depict the life and personality of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. Over the course of thirteen centuries, stubbornly biased and consistently negative representations have persisted, presenting images which bear no resemblance to the noble man familiar to Muslims. Muhammad in Europe traces this consistent tradition of distortion and provides an account of the reasons behind it.
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.
New York University Press