To understand any phenomenon, its roots must first be understood. Unfortunately, not only do all discussions on the conflict between Islam and the West tend to be limited to the modern era, but when the past, the origins, are alluded to, the antithesis of reality is proffered: we hear that the West—itself an anachronism for Europe, or better yet, Christendom—began the conflict by intentionally demonizing otherwise peaceful and tolerant Muslims and their prophet in order to justify their “colonial” aspirations in the East, which supposedly began with the Crusades.
Bestselling author on Islam and Christianity Karen Armstrong summarizes the standard view:
“Ever since the Crusades, people in the west have seen the prophet
Muhammad as a sinister figure…. The scholar monks of Europe stigmatised
Muhammad as a cruel warlord who established the false religion of Islam
by the sword. They also, with ill-concealed envy, berated him as a
lecher and sexual pervert at a time when the popes were attempting to
impose celibacy on the reluctant clergy.”