America’s 233-Year-Old Shock at Jihad

Exactly 233 years ago this week, two of America’s founding fathers documented their first exposure to Islamic jihad in a letter to Congress; like many Americans today, they too were shocked at what they learned.  Context: in 1785, Muslim pirates from North Africa, or “Barbary,” had captured two American ships, the Maria and Dauphin, and enslaved their crews. In an effort to ransom the enslaved Americans and establish peaceful relations, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams -- then ambassadors to France and England respectively -- met with Tripoli’s ambassador to Britain, Abdul Rahman Adja. Following this diplomatic exchange, they laid out the source of the Barbary States’ hitherto inexplicable animosity to American vessels in a letter to Congress dated March 28, 1786: We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the grounds of their [Barbary’s] pretentions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and...(Read Full Article)
You must be logged in to comment.
Register