The Age of Enlightenment, which gave rise to the French Revolution, undermined the church's authority in Europe. While the church previously controlled all the information on Islam and Prophet Muhammad, this began to be questioned with the Enlightenment. The details on the prophet, in particular, were investigated once again, which manifested itself in the fields of culture, arts and literature.
Anti-Islamism under the control of the church lost influence; however, the hatred took a different form this time. For instance, Voltaire, a prominent French Enlightenment writer, pushed all his humanist ideas to the background and targeted Prophet Muhammad. He prepared a disparaging stage play featuring imputations about him, which formed a basis for many radical secularist plays.
Despite all these publications that fueled hatred in Europe, there were also those who praised and defended the prophet. German Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, one of the most prominent writers of world literature, is the poster child of this.