Jefferson’s Quran (Koran)
We’ve all heard the saying "millions for defense, but not a penny for tribute" and some of us know a few lines from the Marines hymn "From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli, we will fight our countries battles on the land as on the sea." Just recently, Democrat Keith Ellison was sworn in as a Democrat congressman by putting his hand on Thomas Jefferson’s Quran, which, in my opinion, is a testimony to Ellison’s great patriotism and knowledge of American history.
The Barbary states were made up of territory along the northern coast of Africa, including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli, and these areas were terrorized by Muslim pirates who specialized in slave trade, kidnappings and ransom demands, from 1550-1816. Young non-Muslim women would be taken to become concubines; boys as young as 9 or 10 would be captured and made into eunuchs, to be sold as slaves (those who survived the barbaric procedure). These Muslim pirates attacked American ships involved in commerce in the Mediterranean Sea, and took American prisoners. The Continental Congress in 1784 decided to negotiate treaties with the four Barbary States. A special commission of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin were sent to oversee the negotiations. John Adams favored paying a tribute to get these men back quickly and easily. Jefferson thought we should go to war against them, as the demand for tribute essentially had no ceiling.
Not having the stomach to go to war so soon after the Revolution, Jefferson and Adams (ambassadors to France and Britain, respectively) met with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja (the Algiers ambassador to Britain) in London in 1786 to negociate a treaty. Sometimes you need to talk to your enemies.
During this meeting, Jefferson and Adams asked Adja why Muslims were so hostile towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts. Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja told them 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." Jefferson apparently procured a copy of the Quran around this time so that he would find out more about our enemies. Perhaps this is why Keith Ellison praised Jefferson as wise and a visionary, since he possessed this book (I don’t know if Ellison knows why Jefferson had a copy of the Quran; I hope someone has since educated Ellison in American history).
For the next 15 years, we paid these Muslim bastards millions of dollars so that we could safely engage in commerce in the Mediterranean and to have our American hostages returned. These payments made up 20% of the US government revenues in 1800.
When war-monger Jefferson became president, he dispatched warships to the Mediterranean, saying, "Millions for defense, but not a penny for tribute." This was 1801. In 1805, American Marines marched across the dessert from Egypt into Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American slaves.
Jefferson, as command-in-chief, oversaw continual and deadly naval bombardment on the Muslim Barbary States, as well as raids by Marines, until these Muslim bastards finally 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."
This war did not end until 1815; it took us 14 years to thoroughly defeat this evil enemy. There are a lot of parallels between then and now; but it was certainly a different and gutsier America back then. I suspect our generation will eventually opt for tribute instead.