Adams got it, Jefferson got it, Quincy Adams got it. We don’t get it.
a surprisingly frank article
at NRO by Joshua London about America’s first war against Muslims, the Barbary pirates. The high point of the piece is John Adams’s and Thomas Jefferson’s awakening regarding the nature of Islam (in the next generation, John Quincy Adams shared a similar recognition):
Although there is much in the history of America’s wars with the Barbary pirates that is of direct relevance to the current “war on terror,” one aspect seems particularly instructive to informing our understanding of contemporary Islamic terrorists. Very simply put, the Barbary pirates were committed, militant Muslims who meant to do exactly what they said.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 23, 2005 03:06 PM | Send
Take, for example, the 1786 meeting in London of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Tripolitan ambassador to Britain. As American ambassadors to France and Britain respectively, Jefferson and Adams met with Ambassador Adja to negotiate a peace treaty and protect the United States from the threat of Barbary piracy.
These future United States presidents questioned the ambassador as to why his government was so hostile to the new American republic even though America had done nothing to provoke any such animosity. Ambassador Adja answered them, as they reported to the Continental Congress, “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.”