Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) explains in 1740

Quote:

But that a camel-merchant [Muhammad] should stir up insurrection in his village; that in league with some miserable followers he persuades them that he talks with the angel Gabriel; that he boasts of having been carried to heaven, where he received in part this unintelligible book, each page of which makes common sense shudder; that, to pay homage to this book, he delivers his country to iron and flame; that he cuts the throats of fathers and kidnaps daughters; that he gives to the defeated the choice of his religion or death: this is assuredly nothing any man can excuse, at least if he was not born a Turk, or if superstition has not extinguished all natural light in him.
François-Marie Arouet, Letter to Frederick II of Prussia, December 1740, referring to Muhammad  (bold emphasis added)
François-Marie Arouet (1694 – 1778), better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and free trade.
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