Muhammad in Europe

A Thousand Years of Western Myth-Making

320 pages

November, 2003

ISBN: 9780814775646

$27

Paper

Also available in

Subjects:

ReligionHistory

Author

Born in Tehran, Minou Reeves was, until 1979 a career diplomat. At the time of the Iranian Revolution, she was Queen Farah's international secretary. She is the author of Female Warriors of Allah, and is now a Fellow of the Institute of Linguists at London. She currently lives in Worcestershire, working as a freelance writer, translator and language consultant.

All books by Minou Reeves

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.

Reviews

  • “Reveals rivalry and confrontation, but also fascination for the exotic as she points out clichés and distortions that have shaped western views of Islam and its founder.”

    Book News, Inc.

  • “A deep study of “the veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety” . . . This scholarly work renders high service in promoting understanding not only internationally but in plural societies which have a Muslim presence.”

    Frontline

  • “Reveals rivalry and confrontation, but also fascination for the exotic as she points out clichés and distortions that have shaped western views of Islam and its founder.”

    Book News, Inc.

  • “In this well-written and timely work . . . Reeves makes a serious effort to be fair to the authors surveyed in her work regardless of the views held.”

    Choice

  • “An engaging and enlightening book. It does a superior job of showing how the West has contributed to the current clash of civilizations.”

    Sixteenth Century Journal