One of the leading figures of Renaissance Europe, Dante, put the Prophet Muhammad in the eighth circle of Hell. The only individuals below Muhammad were Judas, Brutus, and Satan. As Rana Kabbani noted in her luminary piece, Imperial Fictions, “Islam was seen as the negation of Christianity, as anti-
Europe…and Muhammed as an Antichrist in alliance with the Devil.”
Nevertheless, both religions trace their origin back to Abraham. They also both lived in harmony (or at least cohabitated) within the Middle East (notably in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq). Why, then, was there no wider harmonious relationship between Christian Europe and the Middle East?