There are those who claim that the president is in fact a Muslim. Whether Obama is or not I find to be irrelevant, as he has demonstrated his preference for them at every opportunity during his interminable 7+ years in office. Whenever he has been provided with a choice of what is best for America, or what is best for Islam, he has chosen Islam. Americans should find that consistency daunting indeed, and it’s backed up by several statements throughout his tenure, such as, “there is no future for those who slander the prophet.”
The most recent example of this could be observed in a speech Obama gave at a terrorist-supporting mosque in Baltimore two weeks ago, in which he not only extolled the myriad wonders of Islam, but also warned in perilous tones of the rampant Islamophobia of which Americans are guilty. In this remarkable delivery, he included his oft-used claims regarding one of the greatest of our Founders, Thomas Jefferson and his devotion to Islam. These are all, of course, complete fabrications though they do seem to actually seem to exist in the alternate universe in which Obama lives. One wonders whether these and his other claims in this speech were just out and out lies, or false claims, or made up, possibly supplied by speechwriters, jokes, revisionist history or maybe even Hillary-inspired “fog of war” or a “sleep deprived” statement.
At this point, though, were I a Thomas Jefferson descendant, (black or white), I would take out a restraining order on Obama’s continued abuse of the Jeffersonian legacy by claiming that the great man had Muslim connections of every dubious sort.
Voila, la verite — the truth (the Francophile Jefferson would have loved such an introduction). As the great historian Michael Oren points out: “Jefferson was typical of the Americans who … viewed the region [the Muslim states of North Africa] as the repository of despotism, depravity, and backwardness, a kind of inverse mirror of their own democracy, probity, and enlightenment. Certainly, to his mind, a band of Muslim holy warriors bent on enslaving innocent American sailors was far more deserving of whiffs of grapeshot than bags of hard-earned gold … . But with much of American opinion still opposed to using force, Jefferson had no alternative other than to continue negotiating with North Africa for the hostages’ eventual release.”
To Jefferson, the Muslim corsairs [pirates] were nothing but “sea dogs,” and a “pettifogging nest of robbers.” He eventually arrived at the conclusion that only an appropriate military response would be effective, in part in reaction to the many “heartbreaking” letters he received from sailors who were cruelly imprisoned by Muslim pirates, many of whom were “mortally afflicted by the plague.” As Jefferson made known, he “suffered perpetual anxiety” for the innocent American captives.
In December, 1790, Jefferson recommended that America go to war against them: “The liberation of our citizens has an intimate connection with the liberation of our commerce in the Mediterranean,” he explained to Congress. “The distresses of both proceed from the same cause, and the measures which shall be adopted for the relief of one … may … involve the relief of the other.” This was indeed an uncharacteristically hawkish position on the part of Thomas Jefferson, in that he would ordinarily have preferred the payment of tribute to taking military action. This reflects the seriousness of the situation at the time.
Numerous diplomatic efforts were made on the part of Jefferson, as well as his fellow American diplomat, John Adams, to try to quell what had become a crisis on the high seas for the U.S. since losing its British maritime protection following the Revolutionary War. After certain of these efforts, the stunned ambassadors made the following report to Congress providing the Muslim response to the American request that they stop their aggressive and violent activities: The Tripolitan Ambassador to Great Britain, Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adia, had informed Jefferson and Adams of the following: “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.”
During these and other drawn out negotiations, Jefferson reached the conclusion that the “purchase of peace,” i.e., appeasement, worked only temporarily with the Muslims, and that history proved that they would always break whatever agreement they reached with the young nation of America, later blame the Europeans for whatever acts of piracy that had occurred, and then demand a higher tribute. In Jefferson’s classic fashion, he reached this conclusion through considerable study, much of this an examination of the history of militant Islam.
Contrary to yet another false claim made by Obama, though Jefferson did indeed possess a copy of the Koran in his library of over 3,000 volumes, it was in fact an English translation and thus not eligible to be called the holy book, to which the historically illiterate Obama refers. Jefferson was not a particular devotee of Islam, as Obama infers; Jefferson was interested in all religions, in fact he was interested in just about everything; he was both a “curious and cultivated” man.
That is, of course, the polar opposite of our current and unfortunate head of state.
Susan Smith brings an international perspective to her writing by having lived primarily in western Europe, mainly in Paris, France, and the U.S., primarily in Washington, D.C. She authored a weekly column for Human Events on politics with historical aspects for a number of year. She also served as the Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children, Family, Drugs and Alcoholism, and Special Assistant to the first Ambassador of Afghanistan following the initial fall of the Taliban. Ms. Smith is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University and Georgetown University, as well as the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, France, where she obtained her French language certification. Ms. Smith now makes her home in McLean, Va.