The attitude of the West to the non-Christian has always been a critical one. Christianity was its perfect standard and at the same time the yardstick which it applied to the rival great religions. Little was changed in that respect when scholars of religion emancipated themselves from Christian missionary theology whose only real concern was to find in the non-Christian religions points of contact for teaching the heathen. However, none of these religions has been so detested, vilified, misunderstood and misrepresented as the sister religion of Christianity: Islam. Here the Christians' annoyance was of a special character: not only was a claim to revelation made to which the Bible did not bear witness, but, worse still, the doctrine that the history of the Salvation of Man had ended once and for all with Jesus Christ was denied. The "Son of God" was demoted to the rank of a mere prophet. Whosoever made such a statement was clearly in error; this is why Islam was, from the beginning, looked upon as an infamous fraud and a wicked heresy. It could not be a revelation, therefore for the Western scholar it remains to this day an eclectic mixture of ideas and teachings which its founder borrowed from religious concepts which he found in Judaism, Christianity and among the pagan Arabs, and which he partly misunderstood....