Most of Western writers, especially under the influence of the Church, have never failed to accuse Islam of spreading by force of the sword. The causes of this prejudice lie mainly in the fact that the spread of Islam has often occurred at the expense of Christianity. While Islam has for centuries obtained numerous conversions from Christianity without much effort or organized missionary activities, Christianity has almost never been able to achieve conversions from Islam in spite of sophisticated means and well-organized missionary activities, and it has always been at a disadvantage in its competition with Islam for fourteen centuries. This has caused its missionaries and most of the orientalists to develop a complex within themselves by depicting Islam and introducing it as a regressive, vulgar religion of savage peoples. (John Cogley, Religion of Secular Age; Muhammad Asad, The Road to Mecca) The same attitude has unfortunately maintained toward the Holy Prophet of Islam. This is clear in the confessions of some unbiased writers of the West: According to P. Bayle,
Muslims, according to the principles of their faith, are under an obligation to use force for the purpose of bringing other religions to ruin (probably he means Jihad which is not for the purpose he suggests-T.F.U.); yet, in spite of that, they have been tolerating other religions for some centuries past. The Christians have not been given orders to do anything but preach and instruct, yet, despite this, from time immemorial they have been exterminating by fire and sword all those who are not of their religion.. We may feel certain that if Western Christians, instead of the Saracens and the Turks, had won the dominion over Asia, there would be today not a trace left of the Greek Church, and that they would never have tolerated Muhammadanism as the 'infidels' have tolerated Christianity there. We (Christians) enjoy the fine advantage of being far better versed than others in the art of killing, bombarding and exterminating the Human Race."