Jefferson read his Koran – to understand his enemies

President Barack Hussein Obama displayed his affinity for Islam – and complete ignorance of US history – while observing Ramadan in August 2012. President Bill Clinton began the “tradition” of hosting a White House iftar dinner. Both Presidents George W. Bush and Obama have continued the annual pagan observance.

In prepared remarks, Obama incorrectly pontificated:

As I’ve noted before, Thomas Jefferson once held a sunset dinner here with an envoy from Tunisia – perhaps the first Iftar at the White House*, more than 200 years ago. And some of you, as you arrived tonight, may have seen our special display, courtesy of our friends at the Library of Congressthe Koran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. And that’s a reminder, along with the generations of patriotic Muslims in America, that Islam – like so many faiths – is part of our national story.

Obama’s commentary is nothing more than wishful blather. Islam has been absent from American history and culture until very, very recently. None of our Founding Fathers were muslims. Islamic thought contributed nothing to the worldview of the men who conceived of, and fought for, our representative Republic. And the principles articulated in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are absolutely incompatible with Islamic sharia law.

There is absolutely no evidence that President Jefferson ever officially observed Ramadan in the White House. To the contrary, there is a good deal of contemporaneous evidence that Jefferson saw Islam as an enemy of the United States of America. Consider this piece, written by Gerard W. Gawalt, manuscript specialist for early American history in the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. A relevant excerpt reads:

After the United States won its independence in the treaty of 1783, it had to protect its own commerce against dangers such as the Barbary pirates. As early as 1784 Congress followed the tradition of the European shipping powers and appropriated $80,000 as tribute to the Barbary states, directing its ministers in Europe, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, to begin negotiations with them. Trouble began the next year, in July 1785, when Algerians captured two American ships and the dey of Algiers held their crews of twenty-one people for a ransom of nearly $60,000.

Thomas Jefferson, United States minister to France, opposed the payment of tribute, as he later testified in words that have a particular resonance today. In his autobiography Jefferson wrote that in 1785 and 1786 he unsuccessfully “endeavored to form an association of the powers subject to habitual depredation from them. I accordingly prepared, and proposed to their ministers at Paris, for consultation with their governments, articles of a special confederation.” Jefferson argued that “The object of the convention shall be to compel the piratical States to perpetual peace.” Jefferson prepared a detailed plan for the interested states. “Portugal, Naples, the two Sicilies, Venice, Malta, Denmark and Sweden were favorably disposed to such an association,” Jefferson remembered, but there were “apprehensions” that England and France would follow their own paths, “and so it fell through.”

Paying the ransom would only lead to further demands, Jefferson argued in letters to future presidents John Adams, then America’s minister to Great Britain, and James Monroe, then a member of Congress. As Jefferson wrote to Adams in a July 11, 1786, letter, “I acknolege [sic] I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace thro’ the medium of war.” Paying tribute will merely invite more demands, and even if a coalition proves workable, the only solution is a strong navy that can reach the pirates, Jefferson argued in an August 18, 1786, letter to James Monroe: “The [Barbary] states must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them. . . . Every national citizen must wish to see an effective instrument of coercion, and should fear to see it on any other element than the water. A naval force can never endanger our liberties, nor occasion bloodshed; a land force would do both.”

Too bad Obama didn’t do his homework on Jefferson’s Koran, either. In his excellent article, What Thomas Jefferson learned from the Muslim book of jihad,” author Ted Sampley explains why Jefferson read the Koran, and how Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) made the same mistake President Obama did:

Democrat Keith Ellison is now officially the first Muslim United States congressman. True to his pledge, he placed his hand on the Quran, the Muslim book of jihad, and pledged his allegiance to the United States during his ceremonial swearing-in.

Capitol Hill staff said Ellison’s swearing-in photo opportunity drew more media than they had ever seen in the history of the U.S. House. Ellison represents the 5th Congressional District of Minnesota.

The Quran Ellison used was no ordinary book. It once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and one of America’s founding fathers. Ellison borrowed it from the Rare Book Section of the Library of Congress. It was one of the 6,500 Jefferson books archived in the library.

Ellison, who was born in Detroit and converted to Islam while in college, said he chose to use Jefferson’s Quran because it showed that “a visionary like Jefferson” believed that wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.

There is no doubt Ellison was right about Jefferson believing wisdom could be “gleaned” from the Muslim Quran. At the time Jefferson owned the book, he needed to know everything possible about Muslims because he was about to advocate war against the Islamic “Barbary” states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli.

So leftist Democrats are comfortable lying – or at the very least, ignoring the well-publicized truth about Thomas Jefferson and his Koran. Bravo, multiculturalism.

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8 thoughts on “Jefferson read his Koran – to understand his enemies

  1. I was wondering if someone would correct Obama on this. Jefferson believed that Islam was evil and he studied the Koran to know his enemy. Ask a Marine about the shores of Tripoli!!

    • “Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

      No. You need to be corrected. This is Article 11 of the treaty passed unanimously by the Senate and immediately signed by John Adams 1797.

  2. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who was
    doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me dinner
    because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this….
    Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk
    about this matter here on your website.

  3. “Islamic thought contributed nothing to the worldview of the men who conceived of, and fought for, our representative Republic.”
    I would merely like to point out that this is not true. The American Revolutionaries were children of the enlightenment. The western enlightenment has much to thank the mideval caliphates for. While the Europeans were acting like barbarians, the Islamic Empire was the world’s center of tolerance, progress and scholarship.

    If it were not for the great thinkers of the Islamic world, none of the great works of Philosophy that inspired the englightenment would have survived the test of time. All greek philosophy that we enjoy today was saved by Islamic philosophers and theologians. That is to say, the original translations of Plato and Aristotle are now in Arabic, as the original greek was destroyed by the barbarous europeans of the middle ages. Christian philosophers of the middle ages are very vocal in their appreciation of Islamic scholarship and what it did for the western world (think modern mathmatics).

    If you think there would have been an America without Plato and Aristotle, then you had better go study.

    That is all. But I will agree that the muslim world of today has fallen far from the greatness of the Caliphates of old.

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