This study contributes significantly to the dialogue between Islam and the West; a field which has tended to be dominated by mainly non-Muslim writers. Primarily concerned with an intellectual history of Western, mainly English and French, writers; responses to Islam from about 1787 to the 1890s, the author uses both European and Islamic source materials in his study. His thorough evaluation of writers including Abbu Toderini, Boulainvillier, Sylvestre de Sacy, Byron, Edward Lane, Gobineau and Renan, does justice to the European tradition of writing on Islam. At the same time, the scholarly Muslim point of view is sustained by the use of Islamic source materials which have won the esteem of the Muslim community throughout the centuries.
The Islamic Foundation