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When Thomas Jefferson Read the Qur’an

Denise A. Spellberg, Associate Professor of history and Middle eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, is the author of the highly regarded work, Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of ‘A’isha Bint Abi Bakr.  She was involved in controversy in 2008, when she reviewed the galleys of a novel, The Jewel of Medina, for Random House, and criticized the work on many grounds including warning a number of times that the book might instigate violence among some Muslims, specifically against Random House and its employees.  Random House then withdrew publication of the book, but the novel was subsequently published in a number of countries, including the United States.

In this work with the eye-startling title, Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders, Spellberg investigates all manner of references among the founding generation to Islam in order to assert two themes 1) that the founders’ references to “imaginary Muslims” led them to include other minorities, such as Jews, Catholic Christians, and Deists, as full citizens, and 2) that America is now in the grip of “Islamophobia,” and many Americans are attempting to “disenfranchise” Muslims from their rights as full citizens.  Although her research, interspersed with many tangents, brings forth interesting facts regarding the founders’ contacts with and ideas about Muslims, in the end, her volume proves neither thesis.  In fact, it is her second assertion, an attack of Islamophobia, that informs the volume and makes much of it like “law office history,” i.e., the marshaling of those historical facts that can support a policy position. That clarifies the work’s objective, but at the cost of making it a piece of advocacy rather than that of open historical enquiry.  In this work, the political tail wags the historical dog.

Her Preface, Introduction, and Conclusion clearly spell out the objective of the work, which is an indictment of current American attitudes toward Islam. No where does she indicate that the current American dismay with Islam comes from the seemingly unending human horrors being committed around the globe by many of Islam’s adherents, whether or not they be misguided.  She writes, for example, how in 2011, an “addled pastor” had burned a number of Qur’ans in protest of an impending establishment of a mosque resulting in “disastrous consequences in Afghanistan.”  The author fails to point out that the “disastrous consequences” was the attack by a mob on a U.N. outpost and the killing of seven foreigners.  She obviously blames the insensitive pastor (as she criticized the would be Random House author), but no where does she utter a condemnatory sentence about what was a lynch mob that murdered seven innocent persons because they believed their religion demanded such a response.

In the Introduction, she discloses her target: “Particularly in the wake of 9/11 and the so-called War on Terror, a public discourse of anti-Muslim bigotry has arisen to justify depriving American Muslim citizens of the full and equal exercise of their civil rights.”  Her Conclusion (“Why Can’t a Muslim be President?”) falls to the level of a political screed, describing those few violent acts against Muslims, the Patriot Act, the movements against legal recognition of foreign law including the Shari’a, and the statements by those who find Islam a code of political violence.

But the facts belie her rhetoric. Many more Americans have been killed in this country by Muslims operating on what they believed to be their religious principles, than have there been Muslims who have been similarly victimized.  According to FBI statistics, far more “hate crimes” are committed here against Jews than against Muslims, even though there are likely more Muslims here than Jews.  And as for the charge that there is a “conspiracy” (her word) to deprive Muslims of their civil rights, our Constitution has, for the main part, stood as bulwark against that.  In fact, compared to the West, the only place an Arab Muslim can enjoy freedom of speech, democracy, and civil rights in the Middle East is Israel, not in an Islamic state.

Turning to the historical portion of her work, we find that her thesis is formulated in two ways.  The first and more modest is that the founders really did think that Muslims could be full citizens.  With the no religious test clause in the original Constitution (Art. VI), that conclusion is hardly a surprise or a ground breaking revelation.  On the way to proving this unsurprising fact, Professor Spellberg exhibits a wide-ranging amount of research.  Unfortunately, the author includes too much and requires the reader to trek seemingly through all that she has unearthed, even though much of it is tangential.  Nonetheless, her discussion of the development of the translations of the Qur’an, the evolution of thinking about Islam in the West, and particularly the diplomacy surrounding the disputes with the Barbary powers, was valuable.

The second formulation of her historical thesis is more ambitious, namely, that influential framers, such as Jefferson, used “imagined Muslims” (for few of the founding generation had ever met any) as a stalking horse to include the more despised minorities of Jews and Catholics as enjoying (at least religious) rights as American citizens.  It is as if Muslims—or the concern of what to do with them if they ever came to our shores–guided the framers towards their goal of religious toleration within the polity.

This is a more interesting inquiry, but the author ‘s pursuit of the issue runs into a number of methodological difficulties.  First, in the main, she finds those who opposed giving rights to Muslims or Catholics or Jews were mainly among the anti-federalists.  This is a weak reed.  After all, the anti-federalists lost, and as Donald Drakeman has pointed out (Church, State, and Original Intent), almost nobody actually feared that a religious establishment would come about, and the First Amendment merely confirmed that near unanimous sentiment.  The fact is that, except in one phrase in the Constitution of Massachusetts, all that “establishment” meant was in directing certain tax monies to the clergy of a particular sect.  Many leaders from Connecticut and Massachusetts insisted that tax provisions were not even an “establishment” of religion.  The battle for religious liberty had already been won, and except for some rear guard action against the Baptists in Virginia, it was no longer an issue.

This leads to a second methodological difficulty. The author seems to conflate religious liberty with political standing and political rights.  They are separate, and the political rights of some religious minorities, racial minorities, and women would be the battleground of the nineteenth century in the states.  But regarding the federal government, the “no religious test clause” settled the matter. From 1789 on, when the Constitution went into effect, a Muslim had just as much right to be President, a Congressman or a Senator as anyone else. There just is no issue here.

Even looking at the few references when the rights of “the Turk” was championed along with that of the Jew and the Catholic, many read like a rhetorical flourish.  The author often presumes that the word “infidel” (whether the person using the term was defending the infidel’s rights or warning of his presence) was a reference to Muslims.  But it was nothing of the sort.  As the author herself notes, Muslims were mostly imagined. Infidels were real: they were Deists or atheists.  On the other hand, religious adherents of all sorts were accepted, even if grudgingly so.

Religious pluralism in America came about first through an accommodation among Protestants, which was led by Protestant ministers, and not, as the author seems to assert, primarily through the influence of John Locke. But the principles of Protestant religious accommodation were then quickly extended to Jews and Catholics in their religious liberties, and eventually into politics. Deists and atheists remained, for much of early American history, beyond the pale of political respectability. As Tocqueville noted, “In the United States, if a politician attacks a sect, this may not prevent the partisans of that very sect from supporting him; but if he attacks all the sects together, everyone abandons him, and he remains alone.”

This leads to a third methodological difficulty.  The author presumes that the quest for religious liberty and inclusion came about through the “ideal of separation.”  In this, she anachronistically reads back the notion of separation of Church and State, which never became an issue until the late the nineteenth century, into the discussions among the framers.  She does not, unfortunately, evince much familiarity with the rich historical research over the last twenty years of what the role of religion was at the time of the founding. She evidently seems to think that the only way Muslims can be fully accepted is in a secularist regime, which the founders never envisioned.

There are disappointing lacunae in the work, beyond not referencing the recent scholarship on the role of religion at the founding.  She does not show an understanding of the Constitution’s 3/5ths clause (using the old canard that a slave was “three-fifths of a person”).  She does not reference Tocqueville, whose understanding of the political and social role of religion in America remains seminal.  She devotes an unusual amount of space to the influence of John Leland on the subject of religious liberty and non-establishment.  In that chapter, entitled, “Beyond Toleration,” she notes Leland’s and James Madison’s idea that toleration should give way to rights: “religious liberty is a right and not a favor.” Yet the most famous statement of that concept is not in the book. It is in the letter of George Washington to congregation of Touro synagogue in 1790:

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

Had that quote been included, it would have undercut Spellberg’s thesis.   For here was the esteemed hero of the nation to whom all looked for an example, not, like Leland, a Baptist minister the extent of whose role in defining religious liberty has been controversial.  And unlike Leland, who spoke of inclusion of imaginary Muslims, Washington defined religious liberty once and for all, and he spoke to real Jews. That settled the issue, and not some tenuous connection to “imagined Muslims.” No, the framers did not need to call upon “imagined Muslims” to protect Jews and Catholics.  They said so in real terms.

What of the title, Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an?  In the chapter, “What Jefferson Learned—and Didn’t—from His Qur’an,” she searches for the answer.  Jefferson purchased a Qur’an in 1765, a translation by George Sale (which Spellberg credits as being competent). That Qur’an either survived a disastrous fire that destroyed Jefferson’s library in 1770, or he later bought a duplicate.  Jefferson took extensive notes from the books he read, but as Spellberg discovered, there was “virtually none” regarding Sale’s work.

The author then speculates on how the Qur’an might have influenced Jefferson’s thinking anyway.  But her research reveals that Jefferson had absorbed negative views on Islam from Voltaire and others.  He thought Islam demanded state recognition in the way Catholicism and Anglicanism did. His inclusion of Muslims in his scheme of religious liberty came first from Locke and then later, beyond Locke, to his idea of a state quite neutral in regard to religion.

Beyond placing his initials on a number of pages, as he habitually did to indicate ownership, there turns out to be precious little evidence of Jefferson deeply reading his translated Qur’an, the teasing title of the book notwithstanding.  She does emphasize that Jefferson may have respected Islam’s “uncompromising” monotheism, with a respected but lesser place for Jesus, as he himself thought.  I note here that, despite Jefferson’s and Islam’s notion, Christianity’s God is also an “uncompromising” monotheism, the Trinity being an additional revelation describing the inner life of this One God.

Jefferson’s monotheism leads Spellberg to write a most startling sentence in her conclusion: “To many of his political opponents, Jefferson may have been our first Muslim president.” But of course, almost no one thought he was a secret Muslim, but rather an “infidel,” that is, either a Deist or an atheist. She continues with this mistaken conflation of “infidel” with Muslim: “Three years after his election, fears of Jefferson’s ungodly and possibly Islamic presidency persisted.  In January 1803, a Walpole, New Hampshire newspaper editor observed that ‘every candid friend of religion must…be convinced from Jefferson’s own writings that he is an infidel.’”  After all this, despite the author’s assertions, one has to conclude that regarding Jefferson’s affinity to Islam and his possible inspiration from the Qur’an, there is no there there.

In the end, as at the beginning, her fear of “Islamophobia,” directs her research to finger wave Americans: The founders were tolerant of the idea of Muslims as equal citizens and you should be too!  The charge of Islamophobia is, at best, a woeful exaggeration, for after the trauma of 9/11, the American people, led by President George W. Bush, chose not to hate. It was an act of historic magnanimity.  One can only imagine what the reaction would have been in an Islamic country, where people kill because of cartoons, if a group of American terrorists had done the same.

Reader Discussion

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on March 26, 2015 at 20:37:52 pm

there is no such thing as islamophobia, homophobia or any other created word used to insult degrade and demean people who disagree with the user.

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Deserttrek
on March 26, 2015 at 21:31:17 pm

A phobia is an irrational fear. It was originally meant to be- and is today- a demeaning suffix added as a form of name calling infused with plausible deniability. A form of name calling posing as a clinical determination.

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John Christopher Peterson
on March 27, 2015 at 14:24:05 pm

[…] by the Online Library of Law & Liberty, a production of The Liberty Fund.  It can be read here.  In this essay, Professor Forte reviews Professor Denise Spellberg’s book, “Thomas […]

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Image of Professor Forte’s Essay Published by the Online Library of Law & Liberty | CM Law Faculty
Professor Forte’s Essay Published by the Online Library of Law & Liberty | CM Law Faculty
on March 27, 2015 at 23:57:20 pm

Jefferson read the Koran because he wanted to understand our enemy. Muslims were the most viscous pirates at the time and had demanded ransom or protection payments from many countries at the time including the U.S. Jefferson stopped those payments as president and sent the Navy to fight the Muslim pirates.

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cken
on March 29, 2015 at 08:23:59 am

Phobia, from the greek phobos, fear not hate.

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claudio
on March 30, 2015 at 07:45:15 am

[…] When Thomas Jefferson Read the Qur’an David Forte , Library of Law and Liberty […]

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Image of PowerLinks 03.30.15 | Acton PowerBlog
PowerLinks 03.30.15 | Acton PowerBlog
on March 30, 2015 at 08:46:02 am

[…] When Thomas Jefferson Read the Qur’an […]

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Image of Con “Law” Theory, New-Haven Style - Freedom's Floodgates
Con “Law” Theory, New-Haven Style - Freedom's Floodgates
on March 30, 2015 at 11:44:51 am

[…] When Thomas Jefferson Read the Qur’an […]

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Image of Con “Law” Theory, New Haven-Style - Freedom's Floodgates
Con “Law” Theory, New Haven-Style - Freedom's Floodgates
on April 26, 2015 at 11:54:25 am

first correctly search about Qran and islam then give any judgement about it

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yumna
on April 26, 2015 at 12:11:25 pm

The Beneficent﴾1﴿ Hath made known the Qur'an.﴾2﴿ He hath created man.﴾3﴿ He hath taught him utterance.﴾4﴿ The sun and the moon are made punctual.﴾5﴿ The stars and the trees prostrate.﴾6﴿ And the sky He hath uplifted; and He hath set the measure,﴾7﴿ That ye exceed not the measure,﴾8﴿ But observe the measure strictly, nor fall short thereof.﴾9﴿ And the earth hath He appointed for (His) creatures,﴾10﴿ Wherein are fruit and sheathed palm-trees,﴾11﴿ Husked grain and scented herb.﴾12﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾13﴿ He created man of clay like the potter's,﴾14﴿ And the jinn did He create of smokeless fire.﴾15﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾16﴿ Lord of the two Easts, and Lord of the two Wests!﴾17﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾18﴿ He hath loosed the two seas. They meet.﴾19﴿ There is a barrier between them. They encroach not (one upon the other).﴾20﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾21﴿ There cometh forth from both of them the pearl and coral-stone.﴾22﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾23﴿ His are the ships displayed upon the sea, like banners.﴾24﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾25﴿ Everyone that is thereon will pass away;﴾26﴿ There remaineth but the Countenance of thy Lord of Might and Glory.﴾27﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾28﴿ All that are in the heavens and the earth entreat Him. Every day He exerciseth (universal) power.﴾29﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾30﴿ We shall dispose of you, O ye two dependents (man and jinn).﴾31﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾32﴿ O company of jinn and men, if ye have power to penetrate (all) regions of the heavens and the earth, then penetrate (them)! Ye will never penetrate them save with (Our) sanction.﴾33﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾34﴿ There will be sent, against you both, heat of fire and flash of brass, and ye will not escape.﴾35﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾36﴿ And when the heaven splitteth asunder and becometh rosy like red hide -﴾37﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny? -﴾38﴿ On that day neither man nor jinni will be questioned of his sin.﴾39﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾40﴿ The guilty will be known by their marks, and will be taken by the forelocks and the feet.﴾41﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾42﴿ This is hell which the guilty deny.﴾43﴿ They go circling round between it and fierce, boiling water.﴾44﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾45﴿ But for him who feareth the standing before his Lord there are two gardens.﴾46﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾47﴿ Of spreading branches.﴾48﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾49﴿ Wherein are two fountains flowing.﴾50﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾51﴿ Wherein is every kind of fruit in pairs.﴾52﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾53﴿ Reclining upon couches lined with silk brocade, the fruit of both the gardens near to hand.﴾54﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾55﴿ Therein are those of modest gaze, whom neither man nor jinni will have touched before them.﴾56﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾57﴿ (In beauty) like the jacynth and the coral-stone.﴾58﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾59﴿ Is the reward of goodness aught save goodness?﴾60﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾61﴿ And beside them are two other gardens,﴾62﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾63﴿ Dark green with foliage.﴾64﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾65﴿ Wherein are two abundant springs.﴾66﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾67﴿ Wherein is fruit, the date-palm and pomegranate.﴾68﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾69﴿ Wherein (are found) the good and beautiful -﴾70﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny? -﴾71﴿ Fair ones, close-guarded in pavilions -﴾72﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny? -﴾73﴿ Whom neither man nor jinni will have touched before them -﴾74﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾75﴿ Reclining on green cushions and fair carpets.﴾76﴿ Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?﴾77﴿ Blessed be the name of thy Lord, Mighty and glorious!﴾78﴿

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yumna
on April 27, 2015 at 02:23:23 am

verses of quran

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yumna
on April 27, 2015 at 02:36:01 am

Islam is not a religion of peace.it is the only religion.anyone tell you the goodthings of islam.
think about it .why everyone give you bad opinion about it.

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yumna
on April 27, 2015 at 02:40:50 am

why everyone told you that islam is not religion of peace it is the real religion of peace

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yumna
on October 28, 2015 at 17:57:31 pm

This comment is more in line with truth than any comments I've read. It seems that Jefferson was more intent on learning as much as possible about all that this young nation was facing and why and how to legally protect the liberties for which it was formed than to ascribe to a religious belief system that was and still is a source of great confusion, hatred and war. Any inference that Jefferson was a Muslim can only be ascribed to modern thought processes intent on rewriting history to eradicate any and all reference to Christianity and our Judeo-Christian foundation.

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StillLearning
on November 05, 2015 at 10:15:38 am

Excellent critical review of the Spellberg bookmark. Prof. Forte offers some inconvenient facts that can serve as an antidote to Spellberg's Historical fantasy. There is a veritable industry Determined to rewrite history And current events In orderlies to create a false or at least incomplete picture of Islam. The problems with Islam can be traced to the character and nature of its founder. Only a fool or a rogue can equate Mohammad with Jesus Christ. Their lives and philosophies could not have been more different.

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Kirk
on November 08, 2015 at 15:46:43 pm

Flush your headgear out new guy; Islam is a religion of conquest written in the 7th century by barbarians, for barbarians. When you all were plagiarizing from the Bible back then you missed the sentiment from it that in the time of the Old Testament it was an "eye for and eye and tooth for a tooth," but after the New Testament because of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth it is now "treat others as you yourself want to be treated."

I want to ask you this in a serious manner; how many times does the Marine Corps have to put you fools down before you all figure it out? For God loves Marines because we keep Heaven full of fresh souls; you piss ants couldn't come together to make more than a beer fart in a whirlwind. You all are going to reap what you sow as God created Marines solely for His insurance, and our pleasure...

If this is an example of how you want to be treated, or this is your idea of peace, you put a smile on the face of every Marine every day. Terror's sting has no bite to us who wallow in it; we live it and love it because we want too. We have been given it from the Prince of Peace whom you don't know; it is a gift. You will never understand freedom, liberty or God's grace because you are unwilling to give it to others.

You lose.

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Chuck
on December 14, 2015 at 15:14:06 pm

I for one have looked and looked for an article where Muslims have anything good to say about their religion to counter the bad articles, the only ones I can find is about death and destruction and a bunch of other bad things that only the devil (evil) could dream up, except CAIR and my understanding of them is they are part of the problem. So if you have something to say positive about Muslims speak up, or no one will know

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trabob
on May 21, 2016 at 17:27:57 pm

Denise A. Spellberg’s book and evaluation on the founding fathers and their views and ideas on Muslims have a lot to be desired.
First: she makes comments on their tolerance to Muslims, is taken out of context. What they meant at the time is that if someone was a Muslim, and trying to be a citizen of the US, that they should not be persecuted just for their belief. In today’s society with all the Islamic extremism on our shores and abroad, I believe that our founding father would have no tolerance to Islam at all.
Here’s three letters from Washington to Marquis De Lafayette
Mount Vernon, March 25, 1787.
I am writing to you my Dear Sir but where will the letter find you? In Crimea, Constantinople, or the Archipelago? or will it await your return to Paris? About this time you must according to your account be setting out for the first, to make the tour of the latter....
These disorders are evident marks of a defective government; indeed the thinking part of the people of this Country are now so well satisfied of this fact that most of the Legislatures have appointed, and the rest it is said will appoint, delegates to meet at Philadelphia on the second Monday in May next in a general Convention of the States to revise and correct the defects of the federal System.
Congress have also recognized, and recommended the measure. What may be the result of this meeting is hardly within the scan of human wisdom to predict. It is considered however as the last essay to support the present form...
It seems almost nugatory to dispute about the best mode of dealing with the Algerines (Algerians, Barbary Pirates), when we have neither money to buy their friendship nor the means of punishing them for their depredations upon our people and trade.
If we could command the latter I should be clearly in sentiment with you and Mr. Jefferson, that chastisement would be more honorable, and much to be preferred to the purchased friendship of these Barbarians.
By me, who perhaps do not understand the policy by which the Maritime powers are actuated it has ever been considered as reflecting the highest disgrace on them to become tributary to such banditti, who might for half the sum that is paid them be exterminated from the Earth.
[SOURCE: George Washington letter To MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE, from Mount Vernon, March 25, 1787].
Letter two
“... But let me ask you my Dr. Marquis, ...how is it possible the great maritime powers of Europe should submit to pay an annual tribute to the little piratical States of Barbary?
Would to Heaven we had a navy able to reform those enemies to mankind, or crush them into non-existence.”
[SOURCE: From: George Washington to the Marquis de Lafayette, 8/15/1786, The Writings of George Washington, 28:521)].

Letter three
To MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE
Mount Vernon, June 19, 1788. 94
[Note: Both Ford and Sparks print this under June 18.]
"I cannot say that I am sorry to hear that the Algerines (Algerians, Muslim Pirates) and other piratical powers are about to assist the Porte, because I think Russia will not forget and that she will take some leisure moment, just to keep her fleets in exercise, for exterminating those nests of Miscreants.
[SOURCE: George Washington - Letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, June 19, 1788].
These letters are from a time when we were having our ships taken by the Barbary pirates, but had no troubles with Muslims in our boarders. I wonder what Washington would think of the situations we are involved with today!

Second: She makes mention of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson having Muslim slaves. This is true. A slave trade that was ushered in by the Arab Slave trade. A slave trade that probably would not have been at the magnitude in Europe and the America’s if it wasn’t for the Arabs and Moor conquests of Africa. If the Arabs couldn’t submit the villages to Islam, they would take the villagers as “booty” and sell mainly the males to European slave traders, and take most of the female’s back to the Middle East as sex slaves. The slave trade got so large that after a time the Africans that converted to Islam had no guarantee that they would become slaves to be traded.
Imagine how different the slave trade would have been here in America if the Arabs Muslims did not expose the European’s and American’s to a slave trade that large and that easy to acquire.
So Ms. Spellberg, when making your evaluations on thoughts and ideas of our founding father’s, I think that there is a much wider scope ideas inferences that you leave out or wish not to evaluate!

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Ed Maher
on May 28, 2016 at 21:06:50 pm

Modern politically correct apologists take a tolerant view of Islam, and as such they are tolerating intolerance. This is immoral and counterproductive. Our Constitution was partly inspired as a counter to state imposed religions. The aim of this "religion" is not freedom or tolerance, it is total submission. It seeks to subject all states to its system of law, governance and social domination. 270 million deaths so far speak to its savagery. Their own words, should anyone care to actually look, are crystal clear in this regard. The tolerant view is going to get us all killed. This is not a battle of bombs and bullets, it is a battle to expose the truth and show everyone their true nature. The fact something this immoral and abhorrent is allowed to not be laughed off the face of the earth speaks to a collective moral failure. Good luck!

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Glitch
on July 15, 2016 at 22:26:41 pm

[…] the Founders.  David F. Forte, Cleveland State University professor of law, lays out two important themes asserted in the book that reveal Spellberg’s […]

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Counter Jihad
on January 30, 2017 at 09:37:23 am

George Washington:
"...for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens..."

For this reason we be very wary of Islam within our borders. Moderate Muslims who read and study the Qu'ran and want to become more devout are on the road to becoming enemies of the United States. This is blunt, but I believe that it is true.

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Wiliam Brown
on January 30, 2017 at 09:38:43 am

I meant to say: "we should be...."

Apologies for my spellcheck.

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Wiliam Brown
on August 08, 2017 at 18:12:57 pm

[…] When Thomas Jefferson Read the Qur’an http://www.libertylawsite.org/2015/03/26/when-thomas-jefferson-read-the-quran/ […]

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Religion & Government- – The NeoConservative Christian Right
on August 13, 2017 at 17:45:18 pm

How about we try something really strange, and judge people by "the content of their character" as individuals, rather than as members of a class? After all, that's how us white Christians judge each other. Whenever a white male of Christian upbringing shoots up a school in Newtown, or a theater in Aurora, or blows up the Federal building in Oklahoma City, or forms an armed gang to occupy a government facility in Oregon...no one ever judges me for that, no one starts calling out for "moderate Christians" to cooperate in exposing the extremists...etc.

Being devout about the Quran (I've read it) does not in itself make one an enemy of the U.S. any more than reading anything else. The Bible has plenty of blood-curdling or cringe-worthy passages and commands (in both Testaments), which modern Christians manage to rationalize away in order to remain acceptable in today's society. Why do we refuse to admit that others may do the same with their scriptures?

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Nathan Hoepner
on January 06, 2019 at 14:16:54 pm

Harvard's Professor Emeritus Samuel P. Huntington's 1996 "Clash of Civilizations" -- concludes "Islam's borders are bloody and so are its innards".
(Note: Huntington included the following footnote comments on the same conclusion of his article published in a Foreign Affairs: No statement in my Foreign Affairs article attracted more critical comment than "Islam has bloody borders." I made that judgment on the basis of a causal survey of intercivilization conflicts. Quantitative evidence from every disinterested source conclusively demonstrates its validity" - Huntington.)

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From: Princeton's Islam expert Professor Emeritus Bernard Lewis 2003 "The Crisis of Islam - Holy War and Unholy Terror".

Even Princeton's Islam expert Professor Emeritus Bernard Lewis' in his 2003 "The Crisis of Islam - Holy War and Unholy Terror" acknowledges the seriousness of the Islamic problems (not only al Qaida) existent in the Islamic world and how these problems manifest themselves worldwide. One of the book’s concluding sentences.....
“ Sooner or later, Al Qaida and related groups will clash with the other neighbors of Islam -- Russia, China, India -- who may prove to be less squeamish than the Americans in using their power against Muslims and their sanctities."
This did not even touch on current Islamic terrorist organizations and their atrocities,
al Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram, individual suicide bombers and the recent Paris and Brussels murderers and the almost daily suicide car bombs in Iraq all in the name of Allah, as they were written some time ago.

Winston Churchill described Islam even earlier as:
From: Winston Churchill 's "The River War", 1899
"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!
Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as
hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.
Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of
commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of
the Prophet rule or live.
A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement;
the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law
every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as
a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of
slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among
men......
Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the
brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the
influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who
follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith."
(Winston Churchill "The River War", 1899)

And even earlier when Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to call on Tripoli's envoy to.
London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman to discuss the Muslim pirates.
attacks on American shipping and the capture of American sailors they.
asked him by what right he extorted money and took slaves in this way.
As Jefferson later reported to Secretary of State John Jay, and to the Congress:
"The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the.
Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all.
nations who should not have answered 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 Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to.
Paradise.".
The US Marines ended that era of 'peaceful' Muslim activity in 1805.

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E.Patrick Mosman
on January 06, 2019 at 16:02:10 pm

I have read it (in translation, which, know, counts for nothing in Islam, but not everyone can stop everything they're doing to study Arabic). The best parts of the Qur'an merely repeat what is already in the Bible which existed long before the Qur'an. It's best parts are derivative, borrowed. What is unique to the Qur'an and distinguishes it are the many verses expressive of animosity, scorn, slander, and violence toward those who would merely decline the invitation.

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ratonis
on January 06, 2019 at 16:36:35 pm

It is beyond cavil that a principal belief of Islam is that the world is divided into Dar al-Harb (the abode of war) and Dar al-Islam (the abode of Islam - lands governed by sharia). It is the duty of all Muslims to bring all of Dar al-Harb into Dar al-Islam, by conquest or conversion until the entire world is in Dar al-Islam. At that point, Islam believes, there will be world peace, all non-believers having been killed or converted, either voluntarily or by compulsion. It is a supremacist expansionist religion. It is not an "irrational fear" that causes people to dislike Islam. It is a sound appreciation for, or at least a suspicion of, it's actual beliefs.

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Image of Roger Holberg
Roger Holberg
on January 06, 2019 at 17:00:15 pm

Thamk you for that gibberish..

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Image of Jeff Lebowski
Jeff Lebowski
on January 06, 2019 at 17:25:03 pm

How very true

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Image of Peter Gee
Peter Gee
on January 06, 2019 at 17:35:07 pm

It is not necessary in the examples you quote for "moderate Christians" to call out Oklahoma City bombers, Newtown shooters and etc simply because they had a Christian "upbringing". That is meaningless, unless they were bombing in the name of Christianity (McVeigh was an agnostic), uttering "Death to Non-Christians" and etc as they did it..which they did not/do not. Killing people in God's name is not any part of Christianity, despite some or many many have done it outside your examples.

It is however specifically an Islamic benefice. Check the Koran and Hadiths. Look at the world. To deny this is obtuse. As is your, sorry to say, gormless posting.

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Peter Gee
on January 06, 2019 at 18:01:16 pm

Exactly right. The McVeighs of the world aren't doing their evil acts in the name of their religion and you won't see their clergy praising those acts.

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Roger Holberg
on January 06, 2019 at 18:05:16 pm

The US fought a war with North African Muslim pirates. It is far more likely Jefferson was studying the Koran to understand what he was facing than because he was a believer in Islam.

I own a copy of the Koran, but am no fan of the Islamic faith.

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Image of Bill S
Bill S
on January 06, 2019 at 19:41:28 pm

"Islam is peaceful" might be politically correct but it defies the facts.
The Middle East today is aflame with "peaceful" Muslims slaughtering each other and innocent non-believers by the tens of thousands and not a peep is heard from the grand mullahs of Saudi Arabia and Iran, religious leaders of the Sunni and Shia sects calling for peace.
Apparently Yumna has not reviewed or studied the historical,factual evidence of the writings of scholars such as Qutb and/or the history of not so peaceful Islam starting with the death of Mohammad which led to the millions of deaths in the internecine Sunni Iraq-Shia Iran war and continuing today. While there are some protests, there are no fatwas issued by any Islamic mullah, surely not by the grand mullahs of Saudi Arabia and Iran, religious leaders of the Sunni and Shia sects calling for death to the terrorists and revision of the Koran to remove all references to violent acts against the non- Muslims and peaceful co-existence. In the real world Islamic mullahs issue fatwas calling for death to writers,cartoonists and anyone who they consider has insulted Mohammad, some peaceful acts.
Again the repeated mantra that "Islam is peaceful" defies the facts.
"Mohammed is recorded as dying, on or about, 632 AD. And what followed was not an "under siege" mentality. Wars for enrichment followed.
Islam had its own agenda long before the Crusades. If peaceful -- what were Muslim armies doing in Europe 300 years before the Crusades? And hundred of years thereafter?
Seventy-seven years after Mohammed's death, in 711 AD -- some 300 years prior to the first Crusade -- it was Muslim military forces who crossed the Straits of Gibraltar from North Africa into Spain and in less than a decade crossed the Pyrenees.
In 732 AD , the Muslim forces under the command of Abd-er- rahman, were decisively defeated by Charles Martel and the Franks at the Battle of Poitiers [Tours].
800 years later in 1571 the fleet of the Ottoman Empire was defeated at the Battle of Lepanto by the fleet of the Holy League, a combined naval force of Catholic countries led by Don John of Austria and contained vessels from Venice, Spain, the Papal States, Genoa, Savoy, and Malta.
Nine hundred years later, in September 1683 AD -- Ottoman Empire Muslim armies led by the Turkish commander Grand Vizier Kara Mustapha were at the gates of Vienna.
They were defeated by a combination of Austrian, German, and Polish armies.
Second the world needs to understand that Islam was not spread by sandal shod mendicant mullahs preaching from the Koran but by mounted scimitar wielding jihadists. If peace was Mohammed's message -- a subtle proposition at best -- his adherents missed the point then and miss it now."

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E.Patrick Mosman
on January 06, 2019 at 20:02:10 pm

Excellent historical review. Unfortunately, Western leadership and much of the populations of Western countries seem immune to objective reality.

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Roger Holberg
on January 06, 2019 at 20:40:19 pm

I don't really view Islam as solely a "religion" but a system of government to be practiced. It fits well with the state religion model because of its deterministic control factor.

In practice, its not really compatible with our Constitution

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Lydia
on January 06, 2019 at 20:46:16 pm

Peter,

Please explain the need for over 80 Sharia legal courts in England. English law was not comprehensive enough to micromanage Muslim communities.

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Lydia

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