Polemics as Caricature: The False Portrayal of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ by John of Damascus and Thomas Aquinas

Excellent article! Herein lie the roots of Christian lies and deception against Islam.

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As soon as Islam began to spread outside of Arabia, Christian theologians tried to engage with the new religion by way of negative polemics, despite having little familiarity with Islam. Michel Curtis writes:

“Rivalry, and often enmity, continued between the European Christian world and the Islamic world…For Christian theologians, the “Other” was the infidel, the Muslim… Theological disputes in Baghdad and Damascus, in the eighth to the tenth century, and in Andalusia up to the fourteenth century led Christian Orthodox and Byzantine theologians and rulers to continue seeing Islam as a threat.”1

Christian theologians viewed Islam either as heresy or as paganism. From those who saw Islam as heresy, some claimed Islam was a stray offshoot from Christian Orthodoxy, a speciallyChristianheresy. For those who saw Islam as paganism, Islam represented the antithesis of all Christian teachings. Both understandings, of course, contradict each other. On the one hand…

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