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Examining The Qur'an

t is worthwhile knowing something about the Orientalism and its distortion of Islam. The academic study of the Oriental East by the Occidental West was often motivated and often co-operated hand-in-hand with the imperialistic aims of the European colonial powers. Without a doubt, the foundations of Orientalism are in the maxim "Know thy enemy". When the Christian Nations of Europe began their long campaign to colonize and conquer the rest of the world for their own benefit, they brought their academic and missionary resources to bear in order to help them with their task. Orientalists and missionaries whose ranks often overlapped, not just the servants of an imperialist government who were using their services as a way to subdue or weaken an enemy, however subtly.

Quite a few Orientalist scholars were Christian missionaries. Two examples worth mentioning are that of Sir William Muir and Rev. St. Claire Tisdall, who were active missionaries and authors of several books on Islam. Today, these books are viewed as very biased studies, even though they continue to be used as references for those wishing to attack Islam to this very day. That Christians were the source of some of the worst lies and distortions about Islam should come as no surprise, since Islam was its main "competitor" on the stage of World Religions. Far from honouring the commandment not to bear false witness against one's neighbour, Christians distortions and outright lies about Islam were widespread.