For Sally Cockburn, who also understands the pain and power of misrepresentation.
It has been difficult for Western people to understand the violent Muslim reaction to Salman Rushdie's fictional portrait of Muhammad in The Satanic Verses.
Perhaps one place to start is with the figure of Muhammad: a complex, passionate man who sometimes did things that it is difficult for us to accept, but who had genius of a profound order and founded a religion and a cultural tradition that was not based on the sword—despite the Western myth—and whose name 'Islam' signifies peace and reconciliation.
Muhammed: A Prophet for Our Time (c2006) is Armstrong's second biography of Muhammed. Her first was Muhammed: A Biography of the Prophet (published in 1991). Armstrong writes in the introduction to the second biography that "in the wake of September 11, we need to focus on other aspects of Muhammad's life. So this is a completely new and entirely different book, which, I hope, will speak more directly to the terrifying realities of our post-September 11 world." (p. 7)