President Obama recently had the Jefferson Koran on display during the White House Ramadan dinner. While the President was accurate when he said, “Of all the freedoms we cherish as Americans, of all the rights that we hold sacred, foremost among them is freedom of religion, the right to worship as we choose. It’s enshrined in the First Amendment of our Constitution — the law of the land, always and forever.” He is kind of missing the point of why Thomas Jefferson owned, read, and was partially responsible for the first printing of the Koran in the United States. Barack Obama associated the Jefferson Koran with generations of patriotic Muslims in America, and that Islam is part of our national story.
Jefferson needed that copy of the Koran because he was desperate to learn something about Islam from that religion’s written de facto standard of all things Muslim. Why? Just like today’s radical Muslim terrorists, the concept of jihad was being used to legitimize the killing and harassing of U.S. merchant ships during the al-jihad fil-bahr (the holy war at sea), serving as the cornerstone of the Barbary states’ interaction with Christendom. Jefferson also figured that the best way to learn about the political, military, social, economic, and religious agendas of America’s enemies was to read about it translated directly from the Arabic text. Jefferson’s copy of the Koran equipped him with everything he needed to know on how to respond to threats from the caliphates of the early 1800s.
So, the sunset dinner Thomas Jefferson held at the White House with an envoy from Tunisia (which Barack Obama was mentioning to refer to religious tolerance), Ambassador Adja explained the Muslim nation’s violence to the Continental Congress, “that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
They are known in history as the Barbary Pirates, as they were from the Barbary Coast of North Africa. Allusion to the affair can be found in the words “…to the shores of Tripoli” mentioned in the Marine Corps Hymn. They were in fact Wahhabi-type, radical Muslims. After the Revolutionary War, the young United States of America lacked its own Navy and no longer had the protection of the British Royal Navy, so it was forced to pay the extortion fees forced upon it by the Barbary States of Tripoli, Algiers, Morocco and Tunis.
However, by the last year of George Washington’s presidency, a full sixteen percent of the federal budget was spent on extortion payments. Thomas Jefferson, who served as Secretary of State under President Washington, believed that a time would come when not only the economic effects of the extortion payments to the Muslim terrorists would be felt by every American but also that using force would be the only practicable way to end the terrorist attacks. He saw it not only as an affront to the nation’s dignity, but also as an ineffectual response to an abhorrent practice.
Once Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated as our nation’s third President, he began refusing payments to the offending nations. In response, Tripoli declared war against the United States (and Algiers threatened to do so), thus constituting America’s first official war as an established independent nation. Jefferson, determined to end the two-decades-old terrorist attacks, selected General William Eaton (Adams’ Consul to Tunis) and elevated him to the post of “U. S. Naval Agent to the Barbary States,” with the task to lead an American military expedition against the four terrorist nations. General Eaton therefore led a successful military campaign against Tripoli that freed captured seaman and crushed the terrorist forces. After four years of fighting, in 1805 Tripoli signed a treaty on America’s terms, thus ending their terrorist aggressions.
What Barack Obama fails to see is that the religion of Islam, both past and present, has yet to demonstrate that it is friendly to a free government and a free people and the main traits seems to be intolerance and tyranny. As a modern confirmation of this fact, the U. S. Commission on International Religious Freedom monitors nations for egregious violations of religious liberty, and the current list of the most religiously-intolerant nations in the world is loaded with Islamic nations, including Eritrea, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan (secularism and communism join Islam as the other two worst offenders). On the watch list for serious but slightly less egregious violations are numbers of other Islamic nations, including Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, and Nigeria (secularism and communism again join Islam among the worst violators). Significantly, the Judeo-Christian belief system protects freedom and religious liberty; yet, other belief systems – especially that of Islam – have not exhibited those protections.
President Obama also used the venue to praise Hilary Clinton’s assistant, Huma Abedin, saying “The American people owe her a debt of gratitude — because Huma is an American patriot, and an example of what we need in this country — more public servants with her sense of decency, her grace and her generosity of spirit.” It is interesting to note that The Departments Deputy, Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin, has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and /or organizations. This doesn’t necessarily indicate her connection, but may deserve some scrutiny because her position affords her routine access to the Secretary and to policy making. One would think that the proper vetting would have occurred by Clinton’s people concerning her brother Hassan and her mother Saleha Mahmoud Abedin, and any connections with known Islamists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, but this is the administration that appointed a known radical communist, Van Jones, to its cabinet as the green-jobs czar.
We must be mindful not to let “creeping sharia” infiltrate our system of freedom under the guise of religious liberty and tolerance. Former President, John Quincy Adams, realized that Sharia law is not compatible with a free society, “[The] law of nations as practiced among Christian nations . . . is founded upon the principle that the state of nature between men and between nations is a state of peace. But there was a Mohametan law of nations which considered the state of nature as a state of war.” We need to note that the Clinton family has been playing a key role in promoting Fethullah Gulen who has worked assiduously to overthrow Turkey’s secular government. Gulen, who currently resides in Pennsylvania, has told his followers that in order for “worldwide Islamic domination to succeed, every method and path is acceptable, including lying to people.” We need to pay attention to Azizah al-Hibri, appointed by Barack Obama to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Al-Hibri believes that sharia law is superior to American law. Yet, al-Hibri is only one of the pro-sharia adherents that Obama has placed in influential positions since he became president. Last year, Obama appointed two devout Muslims to Homeland Security. Obama’s record concerning Islamic terror was alarming from the beginning of his term and it has only become more entrenched. Congressman Keith Ellison aka Keith Hakim, who converted to Islam and brought the Jefferson Koran for his swearing in process, is already in place in Congress. His connections to CAIR are troubling.
Most importantly, we need to stay informed and hold those elected to represent us accountable. Since the Obama administration is clearly becoming more friendly to radical Islam, we should learn more about Islam, how it operates, and what it teaches. The wise recommendation of Chinese General and international relations expert Sun Tzu (544-496 BC) remains relevant here:
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.