President Obama has said that “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.” For once, maybe twice, I have to agree with the President. America’s relationship with Islam goes back to its founding, but it’s not what the President is willing to reveal.
The Barbary Muslim pirates habitually preyed on ships from “Christian nations,” enslaving “Christian” seamen in the latter part of the 18th century. “Barbary was Christendom’s Gulag Archipelago.”
Thomas Jefferson, embroiled in a war with Islamic terrorists in his day, commented, “Too long, for the honor of nations, have those Barbarians been [permitted] to trample on the sacred faith of treaties, on the rights and laws of human nature!”
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Little has changed since the eighteenth century. In Joseph Wheelan’s well researched book on America’s first war on terror with Islam, we learn that “Jefferson’s war pitted a modern republic with a free-trade, entrepreneurial creed against a medieval autocracy whose credo was piracy and terror. It matched an ostensibly Christian nation against an avowed Islamic one that professed to despise Christians.”
Dumas Malone, Jefferson’s biographer, writes: “Treaties had been made with these petty piratical powers in the past, all of them calling for what amounted to tribute. The United States was acting like the other nations with commerce to protect, but Jefferson had opposed this sort of policy from the time he was in France, believing that the only effective language to employ against these brigands of the sea was that of force. He never believed in buying peace with them, and actually he was the first President to use force against them.”
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