We learned that from the videos Osama Bin Ladin released shortly after his Al Qaida group murdered 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. In those videos, Bin Ladin carefully explained how he and his followers were following the instructions of the Koran and Hadith when he attacked us. However, when Americans were starting to understand the nature of the evil we were up against, President Bush ordered our TV networks to stop broadcasting those videos.
There is a big difference between Jewish and Christian Bible study and Islamic study of the Koran and Hadith. Jews and Christians are taught to read and discuss the Bible so we can understand what God wants us to do. Almost all Jews and Christians today agree that what God wants us to do is much different from what God wanted the ancient Hebrews to do when he gave them the Torah at Mount Sinai and prophets in the days of the Old Testament. Almost all Jews and Christians today embrace the concept of progress and improvement. We are taught that as people learn more about God we become kinder and more godly. The killing and violence that approved by God in the days of Canaanites and Philistines is not tolerated today. A classic example is how the story of Noah in Genesis 6:9 is interpreted. Noah is described as a “righteous man, blameless among the people of his time”. That implies that while Noah may have been righteous according to the standards of his barbaric times, he would not be righteous by today’s standards. Jewish and Christian Bible study is not intended to teach us to do what Moses, Joshua, Saul and David did in their day. Instead Jews and Christians use the Bible to ask “What would Moses do today?” or “What would Jesus do today?”
This shopkeeper in Glasgow, Scotland was repeatedly stabbed to death after wishing his friends and customers “Happy Christmas” on Facebook in 2015 and “Happy Easter” in 2016. His killer proudly told the judge he had a duty to kill Asad Shah because followers of the Prophet are not permitted to do that. He explained that the shopkeeper was “claiming to be a prophet” by openly defying the instructions of the “Last Prophet”.
That is not permitted in Islam. The Koran and Hadith declare Mohammed to be the “last” Prophet. Whatever he revealed or taught 1400 years ago must be strictly obeyed today. Any member of that religion who in any way suggests that Mohammed would want his followers to do something different today is “claiming to be a prophet” and is to be killed. That person is also “changing his Islamic religion”. A Hadith of Ibn Abbas, instructed, “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him” (Sahih al-Bukhari).
What the Taliban are doing in Afghanistan today is no different from what “privateers” of Barbary Kingdoms of North Africa did when they attacked American ships in 1784. Just months after we won independence from Great Britain, armed ships from these kingdoms attacked and captured American ships in the area that were stopped or slowed down by poor winds. The Barbary shops were powered by the oars of slaves. The Barbary privateers seized the American ships and cargo. They captured the passengers and crew and sold them into slavery. Sometimes they were kept near the port cities so they could be set free for ransom or tribute. In 1785, Thomas Jefferson, America’s ambassador to France and John Adams, our ambassador to England met with Tripoli’s Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman (or Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja) to stop this. Tripoli’s ambassador spoke for several Barbary Kingdoms in North Africa. At that time, these kingdoms were part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, and the Sultan of that empire was also the Caliph, or religious leader of the entire Islamic world. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams sent this report to Congress after the meeting:
“When we enquired concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury”, the ambassador for Tripoli replied that:
It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy’s ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once.
“American Peace Commissioners to John Jay,” March 28, 1786, “Thomas Jefferson Papers,” Series 1. General Correspondence. 1651–1827, Library of Congress. LoC: March 28, 1786 (handwritten). Making of America Project; Philip Gengembre Hubert (1872). The Atlantic monthly. Atlantic Monthly Co.. p. 413 (typeset) (some sources confirm this wording, other sources report this quotation with slight differences in wording.
What the Tripoli ambassador told Jefferson and Adams in London in 1785 is the same as the Taliban message to Americans when they took over the capital of Afghanistan last Saturday. It is the same as what their Prophet told his followers 1,400 years ago.
Thomas Jefferson also bought a copy of the Koran and read it himself. That is how this book ended up in his library, which later became the Library of Congress.
Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams told Congress that the only way to stop these attacks on Americans was to fight and defeat them with a strong navy. However, at that time, the United States did not have a navy. We did even have a Constitution, a President, or a Congress capable of imposing taxes to pay for one. For the next 15 years, America had no choice but pay bribes, ransom, and “tribute” to the Barbary kingdoms to keep our people safe.
In 1788 America ratified a new Constitution. That Constitution created a new Congress with the power to impose taxes for an army and a navy and and new President to be their Commander-in-Chief. In 1797, the French navy also attacked American ships and French officials also demanded bribes, tribute, and ransom. Americans responded by shouting, “Millions for defense, not one cent for Tribute”. After years of debate, Congress finally approved all funds needed to build our first warships and create our new navy. In 1798, Richard Somers of Somers Point, and his friend Stephen Decatur of Maryland joined that new navy in Annapolis at age 18. When Thomas Jefferson became President in 1801, the United States stopped paying ransom, bribes, and tribute to the Barbary kingdoms. President Jefferson instead sent our new navy overseas to fight them. Please click the links below for other posts telling more of this story:
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