Western view of Islam: A troubled history
By Soumayya Ghannoushi
I have spent much of the last four years scavenging for medieval manuscripts, in an attempt to study medieval European representations of Islam.
I am generally averse to sweeping statements, but I will say this: I am yet to encounter a tradition and historical experience as profoundly distorted as Islam's has been and continues to be to the present day.
And although we are relentlessly pulled away from the ontological why questions, from the arduous exploration of origins and causes, towards the easy fixes of the utilitarian what questions, we must pause and ask why it is that western consciousness perceives Islam in such deeply flawed terms.