I read in "Orientalism" by Edward W. Said:
For his Islamic enthusiasm, on the other hand, Whiston was expelled from Cambridge in 1709
William Whiston was an English theologian, historian, and mathematician, who contributed to the popularization of Isaac Newton's ideas. Like Newton, he was a fervent anti-trinitarian but I find nothing relating him directly to Islam, which would justify the above statement. Internet searches lead back to this fragment of Said's book. I find here a statement that this is a quotation from A.J. Arberry's "Oriental Essays", but I don't have access to that book.. Arberry is a an explicit reference, but Said is not using any quotation marks with his aforementioned phrase.
What is the exact meaning and source of that statement?
Given that Islam was considered in the past by Christian theologians as a kind of Arianism, that Whiston (like Newton) was professing a theology that was not far from Arianism, and that the accusation of heterodox Arianism was behind Whiston's expelling from Cambridge. the phrase can be understood in that context, somewhat ironically. But, as it is, it seems to suggest more than that.