Example: [Sampley, 2007]
What Thomas Jefferson learned from the Muslim book of jihad
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
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
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.
[Rest of article here.]
Origins: In January 2007, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota became the United States' first Muslim Congressman when he was sworn into the House of Representatives. For the ceremonial photo opportunity afterwards, he elected to pose with a copy of the Quran published in 1764 and once owned by Thomas Jefferson:
Although the Library of Congress is right across the street from the Capitol, library officials protected the book from the elements by taking a long, winding underground route via tunnels. When they got there, a crowded room of reporters, photographers, and videographers was waiting.
The Koran was acquired in 1815 as part of a more than 6,400-volume collection that Jefferson sold for $24,000 to replace the congressional library that had been burned by British troops the year before, in the War of 1812. Jefferson, the nation's third president, was a collector of books in all topics and languages.
In 1787 the Continental Congress ratified a treaty with Morocco calling for the payment of tribute by the United States in exchange for an end to attacks on merchant ships, but Tripoli and Algiers continued to prey on American shipping. In 1794 Congress (urged in large part by New England merchants disgruntled with ship seizures in the Mediterranean and rising insurance rates) passed the Naval Act, which reestablished the
The Barbary Wars began in 1801, when President Thomas Jefferson dispatched a naval squadron to the Mediterranean to protect American ships and the crews who manned them. Jefferson drew heavy criticism when Tripoli seized the USS Philadelphia and its
The outline of history presented in the article referenced above is basically correct, although its emphasis on "Muslim slave traders" (no mention that Jefferson himself, like many other Americans at the time, was also a slaveowner) and the "Muslim book of jihad" is questionable. The successful resolution of the Barbary issue came about not specifically because of anything Jefferson gleaned from reading the Quran, but because he realized early on that paying tribute to pirates and brigands was not a viable solution, especially when the payees were half a world away and effectively outside the reach of American military power. Believing that paying tribute to the Barbary nations would only lead to additional demands, and that England and France could not be counted upon to join a confederation of nations created to "compel the piratical states to perpetual peace," Jefferson reasoned early on that the best course of action was to create a navy which could subdue the Barbary powers by force:
"From what I learn from the temper of my countrymen and their tenaciousness of their money," Jefferson added in a
| America and the Barbary Pirates
(Library of Congress)
Boyer, Paul S. The Oxford Companion to United States History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-19-508209-5 (p. 63). Frommer, Frederic J. "Ellison, a Muslim, Is Sworn in Using Thomas Jefferson's Koran." The New York Sun. 5 January 2007. Irwin, Ray W. The Diplomatic Relations of the United States with the Barbary Powers, 1776-1816. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1931. Kitzen, Michael L. S. Tripoli and the United States at War. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 1993. ISBN 0-899-50823-5. Wheelan, Joseph. Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror 1801-1805. Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003. ISBN 0-786-71232-5.