Thomas Jefferson's Koran & White Slavery

I agree with Nadir and Christopher Hitchens about the US Christian fanatics who protested the use of a Koran by freshman Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., in his swearing in: they are uncivilized morons. And I also agree with Nadir (I hope!) and Hitchy *and* with Thomas Jefferson that we should ban all such books from official government ceremonies. In particular, do we want any democratic official swearing allegiance to anything other than the democratically established laws of his or her own government? I say that officials should swear to a single document: the US Constitution.

This Hitchy article informs us about a the Koran that Ellison used, belonging to Thomas Jefferson's own library. What was TJ's relationship with Islam? Well, when TJ was president, he confronted the Ottoman Empire, a descendant of Mohammad's own Muslim anti-democratic empire. Citing Mohammad's Koran and examples documented in other texts, Ottoman sea captians along the African Mediteranian coast waged an aggressive war of piracy against all European ships. Just as with Mohammad's desert piracy practiced against non-Muslim camel caravans, the Ottoman pirates seized all property, and the humans on board (sailors, soldiers, travels of both genders and all ages) received one of three fates: death, slavery, or kidnapping-for-ransom. In all, the Ottoman Arabs and Africans took 1 million honkies as slaves-for-life, and European shipping in the Mediterranean nearly halted.

Until TJ created the US Marines and launched the US' first international war, resulting in a treaty that ended the piracy, a declaration from TJ that the US government was neither anti-Muslim nor pro-Christian, and the words "Shores of Tripoli" for the USMC Battle Hymn.

I already knew that part. What I didn't know was that the genius and visionary TJ created his own Bible, which comprised the New Testament (apparently TJ shared my distaste for the entire Old Testament) edited to omit all the superstitions and fairy tale elements: no virgin birth, no resurrection, no water-into-wine, no walking on water. That's the Bible I want! Hitchy wonders about doing such a thing to the Koran, but does not ponder the implications. First, many homicidal fanatics would attempt to kill the editor, publisher, sellers, and readers. Second, whereas a book consisting of only Jesus' gospels minus the fables would constitute a great and inspiring work of original and appealing philosophy, such an effort would leave the Koran little changed, and still even more repulsive than the Old Testament.


sixstringslinger said...

What Thomas Jefferson learned
from the Muslim book of jihad


By Ted Sampley
U.S. Veteran Dispatch
January 2007

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.

Ellison's use of Jefferson's Quran as a prop illuminates a subject once well-known in the history of the United States, but, which today, is mostly forgotten - the Muslim pirate slavers who over many centuries enslaved millions of Africans and tens of thousands of Christian Europeans and Americans in the Islamic "Barbary" states.

Over the course of 10 centuries, Muslim pirates cruised the African and Mediterranean coastline, pillaging villages and seizing slaves.

The taking of slaves in pre-dawn raids on unsuspecting coastal villages had a high casualty rate. It was typical of Muslim raiders to kill off as many of the "non-Muslim" older men and women as possible so the preferred "booty" of only young women and children could be collected.

Young non-Muslim women were targeted because of their value as concubines in Islamic markets. Islamic law provides for the sexual interests of Muslim men by allowing them to take as many as four wives at one time and to have as many concubines as their fortunes allow.

Boys, as young as 9 or 10 years old, were often mutilated to create eunuchs who would bring higher prices in the slave markets of the Middle East. Muslim slave traders created "eunuch stations" along major African slave routes so the necessary surgery could be performed. It was estimated that only a small number of the boys subjected to the mutilation survived after the surgery.

When American colonists rebelled against British rule in 1776, American merchant ships lost Royal Navy protection. With no American Navy for protection, American ships were attacked and their Christian crews enslaved by Muslim pirates operating under the control of the "Dey of Algiers"--an Islamist warlord ruling Algeria.

Because American commerce in the Mediterranean was being destroyed by the pirates, the Continental Congress agreed in 1784 to negotiate treaties with the four Barbary States. Congress appointed a special commission consisting of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, to oversee the negotiations.

Lacking the ability to protect its merchant ships in the Mediterranean, the new America government tried to appease the Muslim slavers by agreeing to pay tribute and ransoms in order to retrieve seized American ships and buy the freedom of enslaved sailors.

Adams argued in favor of paying tribute as the cheapest way to get American commerce in the Mediterranean moving again. Jefferson was opposed. He believed there would be no end to the demands for tribute and wanted matters settled "through the medium of war." He proposed a league of trading nations to force an end to Muslim piracy.

In 1786, Jefferson, then the American ambassador to France, and Adams, then the American ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the "Dey of Algiers" ambassador to Britain.

The Americans wanted to negotiate a peace treaty based on Congress' vote to appease.

During the meeting Jefferson and Adams asked the Dey's ambassador why Muslims held so much hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.

In a later meeting with the American Congress, the two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja had answered that Islam "was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, 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 (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."

For the following 15 years, the American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or the return of American hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to 20 percent of United States government annual revenues in 1800.

Not long after Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, he dispatched a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress.

Declaring that America was going to spend "millions for defense but not one cent for tribute," Jefferson pressed the issue by deploying American Marines and many of America's best warships to the Muslim Barbary Coast.

The USS Constitution, USS Constellation, USS Philadelphia, USS Chesapeake, USS Argus, USS Syren and USS Intrepid all saw action.

In 1805, American Marines marched across the dessert from Egypt into Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American slaves.

During the Jefferson administration, the Muslim Barbary States, crumbling as a result of intense American naval bombardment and on shore raids by Marines, finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy.

Jefferson's victory over the Muslims lives on today in the Marine Hymn, with the line, "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we will fight our country's battles on the land as on the sea."

It wasn't until 1815 that the problem was fully settled by the total defeat of all the Muslim slave trading pirates.

Jefferson had been right. The "medium of war" was the only way to put and end to the Muslim problem. Mr. Ellison was right about Jefferson. He was a "visionary" wise enough to read and learn about the enemy from their own Muslim book of jihad.

Paul Hue said...

A few thousand years before Jefferson, the people in today's Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Ethiopia were the most advanced on earth, and for a few thousand years held their advantage over the Europeans. Even after civilization appeared in Europe, during that continent's "Dark Ages", the Islamic Empire was more civilized, even preserving Europe's great literary achievements, which backwards Europeans began destroying.

By the time of Jefferson, no one can argue that in terms of brutality that the Europeans and Americans were any better than the Barbary Muslims. But it comes as a revelation that at that time people other than honkies were behaving so abhorrently.

However, the Europeans had begun humanity's step forward in a movement of course begun by the Egyptians, etc., in the form of the US Constitution. 200 years later, consider how these two groups of societies have advanced, one forward, the other stagnant or even backwards. This is truly the Muslim "Dark Ages."

Did Jefferson err following his defeat of the Muslim Barbers by not mandating the erection of a democratic government?

Nadir said...

"The Muslim book of jihad"?

Wouldn't Christians be offended if someone referred to the Bible as "The Christian Book of War and Intolerance"?

Nadir said...

"However, the Europeans had begun humanity's step forward in a movement of course begun by the Egyptians, etc., in the form of the US Constitution. 200 years later, consider how these two groups of societies have advanced, one forward, the other stagnant or even backwards. This is truly the Muslim "Dark Ages.""

You call the bombing of Somalia "a step forward"? You call the quagmire in Iraq "progress"?

I argue that Americans are more violent and backward because we allow our government to bomb thousands of innocent people so that we can drive our gas-guzzling SUVs.

This is truly The American Dark Ages, and history will judge it as such.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir writes ======================
Wouldn't Christians be offended if someone referred to the Bible as "The Christian Book of War and Intolerance"?

Somebody getting "offended" is immaterial to the merits of the assertion. To the extent that you can justify such an assertion, carry on, dude. I think you can surely make such a case for the Old Testament / Talmud, but less so for the New Testament. In any case, you could make the case, sensitivities to religious adherents be damned (as they should be!).

In terms of war and intolerance, surely the Koran reigns supreme, even over the Old T. The New T flunks any claim of war advocacy, and I'm hard pressed to imagine any assertion in it of intolerance, except for the claim that if you don't follow what Jesus says (and follow via peaceful persuasion) you will end up in hell.

The Koran meanwhile commands world-wide adherence via violence, and eternal war against non-believers.

You could surely call all three books a collection of "fairy tales" and "superstitions", and anger only simple-minded anti-intellectual adherents of such. Such people deserve to be "offended", I say, especially if they prescribe violence against offenders.

The Old T surely qualifies as a book of racism, as it claims that some people based on their blood line constitute "God's Chosen People" and qualify for ownership of some particular parcel of land. Would any Jews be offended by such a conclusion? Surely, but that should not stop anyone from issuing it.