Monday, June 8, 2009

Presidents on Islam

John Adams
Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary," drafted by Joel Barlow, U.S. Consul General of Algiers and signed by President John Adams.
In Article 11, it states:
“The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.”

John Adams to M.M. Noah, July 31, 1818.
"It has pleased the Providence of the first Cause, the Universal Cause, that Abraham should give religion not only to Hebrews but to Christians and Mahomitans, the greatest part of the modern civilized world.”

And...Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, July 27, 1821, Autobiography Draft Fragment, January 6 through July 27

"The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason & right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that it's protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion" the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it's protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination."

Thomas Jefferson to James Fishback, Sept. 27, 1809
"Every religion consists of moral precepts, and of dogmas. In the first they all agree. All forbid us to murder, steal, plunder, bear false witness &ca. and these are the articles necessary for the preservation of order, justice, and happiness in society. In their particular dogmas all differ; no two professing the same. These respect vestments, ceremonies, physical opinions, and metaphysical speculations, totally unconnected with morality, and unimportant to the legitimate objects of society. Yet these are the questions on which have hung the bitter schisms of Nazarenes, Socinians, Arians, Athanasians in former times, and now of Trinitarians, Unitarians, Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinists, Methodists, Baptists, Quakers &c. Among the Mahometans we are told that thousands fell victims to the dispute whether the first or second toe of Mahomet was longest; and what blood, how many human lives have the words ‘this do in remembrance of me’ cost the Christian world!"

More on Founding Fathers and Islam from American Memory

Barack Obama
June 4, 2009 Remarks by the President on a New Beginning
Cairo University
Cairo, Egypt

"Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition."

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