On Thursday, January 4, 2007, Keith Ellison
from the 5th Congressional District of Minnesota was sworn in as a Democrat Member
of the 110th Congress amid the media fanfare of being the first Muslim elected
to Congress. The following day, in a swirl of national controversy, Ellison had
the usual private swearing-in ceremony, but this time on a 1764 Koran owned by
Founding Father Thomas Jefferson.

(Prior to his election to Congress, Ellison had been a Democrat state legislator
in Minnesota, where he established a liberal voting record. Of his Muslim faith,
Ellison explains: “I was raised Catholic and later became a Muslim while attending
Wayne State University. I am inspired by the Quran’s message of an encompassing
divine love, and a deep faith guides my life every day.” [1])

Muslims saw Ellison’s election and swearing-in as a great victory. For example,
he recently spoke to a cheering crowd of 3,000 at a national convention of the
Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America. At that event
(described as being aimed “at revival and reform”), Ellison admonished his fellow
Muslims: “You can’t back down. You can’t chicken out. You can’t be afraid. You
got to have faith in Allah, and you’ve got to stand up and be a real Muslim!
. . . On January 4, I will go swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the
United States. I’ll place my hand on the Quran!” The crowd responded with enthusiastic
applause, cheering “Allahu akbar!” (Allah is great!). [2]

While Muslims at home and abroad were elated at Ellison’s victory, others had
quite different reactions. In fact, two prominent critics, representing the
feelings of many Americans, became the focus of national news stories following
their outspoken denunciation of Ellison’s plans to use the Koran. One of those
individuals was Jewish syndicated radio host and columnist Dennis Prager. Writing
of Ellison’s intent to be sworn in on the Koran, Prager declared:

He should not be allowed to do so – not because of any American hostility to
the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization. . . . [I]t
is an act of hubris that perfectly exemplifies multiculturalist activism – my
culture trumps America’s culture. . . . Insofar as a member of Congress taking
an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested
in only one book: the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that
book, don’t serve in Congress. In your personal life, we will fight for your
right to prefer any other book. We will even fight for your right to publish
cartoons mocking our Bible. But, Mr. Ellison, America, not you, decides on what
book its public servants take their oath. . . . Ellison’s [swearing on the Koran]
will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones, as Islamists, rightly or
wrongly, see the first sign of the realization of their greatest goal – the
Islamicization of America. When all elected officials take their oaths of office
with their hands on the very same book, they all affirm that some unifying value
system underlies American civilization. If Keith Ellison is allowed to change
that, he will be doing more damage to the unity of America and to the value
system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9-11. [3]

A second individual who became a national news story was Congressman Virgil
Goode of Virginia. Like most other Members of Congress, numerous constituents
contacted him, expressing their opposition to Ellison’s plan to be sworn in
on the Koran. Goode’s blunt candidness about the issue became the object of
national news coverage. He told constituents:

Thank you for your recent communication. When I raise my hand

to take the oath on Swearing-In Day, I will have the Bible
in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim
Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and
if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on
immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding
the use of the Koran. We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce
legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President
Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country.
I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United
States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are
necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States
of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped. The Ten Commandments
and “In God We Trust” are on the wall in my office. A Muslim student came
by the office and asked why I did not have anything on my wall about the Koran.
My response was clear, “As long as I have the honor of representing the citizens
of the 5th District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives,
The Koran is not going to be on the wall of my office.” Thank you again for
your email and thoughts.
Sincerely yours,
Virgil H. Goode, Jr.

The media reaction to these two leaders and their outspoken criticism of Ellison’s
plan included epithets such as “racist,” “bigoted,” “homophobic,” “Islamophobic,”
“sexist,” “xenophobic,” “fascist,” etc. [4]

There clearly has been no lack of emotive language surrounding the swearing
in of Rep. Keith Ellison. Significantly, however, there is an historical backdrop
to this controversy, with many salient elements in American history that are
largely unknown today. This piece will present some of the forgotten history
surrounding a Muslim serving in Congress.

— — — — — —

Is Keith Ellison actually the first Muslim to serve in the U. S. Congress? According
to the national media, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” [5] That may well be true;
however, John Randolph of Virginia, who served in Congress from 1799-1834, expressed
that in his early years, he held a position “in favor of Mahomedanism”
[6] and “rejoiced in
all its triumphs over the cross [Christianity].” [7]
Randolph was not a Muslim in the same sense as Ellison, but he certainly cultivated
what he described as a position of “natural repugnance to Christianity.” [8]
Francis Scott Key, author of the “Star Spangled Banner,” [9] befriended Randolph and faithfully shared
Christ with him. Randolph eventually converted to Christianity [10]
and became a strong personal advocate for his newfound faith. [11]
(Interestingly, Key reached out to Muslims, sharing Christianity with them and
even purchasing for them copies of the Christian Bible printed in Arabic. [12]

There were numerous Muslims living in America at the time of the

American Founding. Islam had been introduced into America during the early
1600s with the entrance of slavery. It is estimated that ten percent of slaves
were Muslim, [13] many of whom became
free and lived in America but retained their Islamic faith. There were therefore
early Muslim communities in South Carolina and Florida; [14]
and there were enough Muslims that by 1806 the first Koran was published and
sold in America. [15]

Significantly, during the Founding Era, like today, there was great concern
over the possibility of a Muslim being elected to Congress. That concern was
heightened by the fact that at that time, like now, America was involved in
a war on terror against Islamic terrorists. That war, called the Barbary Powers
War, lasted thirty-two years, involved six years of active overseas warfare
against Muslim terrorists, and spanned four U. S. presidencies: those of George
Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. [16]

Since few today have ever heard of that war, a brief review will provide useful
background in addressing the issue of a Muslim being sworn into Congress.

— — — — — —

The Barbary Powers conflict began during the American Revolution when Muslim
terrorists from four different Islamic nations (Tunis, Morocco, Algiers, and
Tripoli) began making indiscriminate attacks against the property and interests
of what they claimed to be “Christian” nations (America, England, France, Spain,
Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, etc.).

Barbary Powers (called Barbary “pirates” by most Americans) attacked American
civilian and commercial merchant ships (but not military ships) wherever they
found them. Prior to the

Revolution, American shipping had been protected by the British navy, and during
the Revolution by the French navy. After the Revolution, however, America lacked
a navy of her own and was therefore left without protection for her shipping.
The vulnerable American merchant ships, built for carrying cargoes rather than
fighting, were therefore easy prey for the warships of the Barbary Powers, which
seized the cargo of the ships as loot and took their seamen (of whom all were
considered Christians by the attacking Muslims) and enslaved them. [17]

In 1784, Congress authorized American diplomats John Adams, Benjamin Franklin,
and Thomas Jefferson to negotiate with the Muslim terrorists. [18]
Negotiations proceeded, and in 1786, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson candidly
asked the Ambassador from Tripoli the motivation behind their unprovoked attacks
against Americans. What was the response?

The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their Prophet
[Mohammed] – that it was written in their Koran that all nations who should
not have acknowledged their authority were sinners; that is 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. [19]

Given this “spiritual” incentive to enslave and make war, the Muslim attacks
against American ships and seamen were frequent. In fact, in the span of just
one month in 1793, Algiers alone seized ten American
ships and enslaved more then one hundred sailors, holding them for sale or ransom.
[20] Significantly, when Adams and Jefferson
queried the Tripolian Ambassador about the seizure of sailors, he explained:

It was a law that the first who boarded an enemy’s vessel should
have one slave more than his share with the rest, which operated as an incentive
to the most desperate valor and enterprise – that it was the practice of their
corsairs [fast ships] to bear down upon a ship, for each sailor to take a
dagger in each hand and another in his mouth and leap on board, which so terrified
their enemies that very few ever stood against them. [21]

The enslaving of Christians by Muslims was
such a widespread problem that for centuries, French Catholics operated a ministry
that raised funding to ransom enslaved seamen. As Jefferson explained:

There is here an order of priests called the Mathurins,

the object of whose institutions is the begging of alms for
the redemption of captives. About eighteen months ago, they redeemed three
hundred, which cost them about fifteen hundred livres [$1,500] apiece. They
have agents residing in the Barbary States, who are constantly employed in
searching and contracting for the captives of their nation, and they redeem
at a lower price than any other people can. [22]

Ransoming Americans was no less expensive, and therefore a very profitable
trade for the Muslim terrorists. As John Adams explained:

Isaac Stephens at Algiers. . . . says the price is 6,000 for a master [captain],
4,000 for a mate [officer], and 1,500 for each sailor. The Dey [Muslim ruler]
will not abate [drop the price] a sixpence, he says, and will not have anything
to say about peace with America. He says the people (that is the sailors,
I suppose) are carrying rocks and timber on their backs for nine miles out
of the country, over sharp rocks and mountains; that he has an iron round
his leg, &c. He begs that we would pay the money for their redemption
without sending to Congress, but this is impossible. [23]

In an attempt to secure a release of the kidnapped seamen and a guarantee of
unmolested shipping in the Mediterranean, President Washington dispatched diplomatic
envoys to negotiate terms with the Muslim nations. [24] They secured several
treaties of “Peace and Amity” with the Muslim Barbary Powers to ensure “protection”
of American commercial

ships sailing
in the Mediterranean. [25] And because America had no threat
of force against the Muslims, she was required to pay hundreds of thousands
of dollars (tens of millions in today’s money) of “tribute” (i.e., official
extortion) to the Muslim countries to secure the “guarantee” of no attacks.
In fact, one Muslim Ambassador told American negotiators that “a perpetual peace
could be made” with his nation for the price of 30,000 guineas [$2.3 million
today], with an additional 3,000 guineas [$230,000] fee for himself. [26] Having no other recourse, America
paid. Sometimes the Muslims even demanded additional “considerations” – such
as building and providing a warship as a “gift” to Tripoli, [27] a “gift” frigate to Algiers, [28] paying $525,000 to ransom captured
American seamen from Algiers, [29]

These extortion payments became a significant expense for the American government.
In fact, in 1795, payments to Algiers alone (including the ransom payment to
free 115 American seamen), totaled nearly one million dollars [30]
(and Algiers was just one of the four warring Barbary Powers). Significantly,
America had to obtain a loan from Holland to make the payment, [31]
and the entire affair displeased Washington, who considered it a “disgrace”
to remit funds for that purpose, preferring rather to inflict “chastisement”
upon the terrorists. [32] Nevertheless, the best solution at that time was
to continue paying the protection money, for America lacked a military, having
neither navy nor army (the army was available only on an as-needed basis to
be called up from among the people in case they needed to defend themselves;
America had no standing army). Disgusted with the payments, Washington lamented:

Would to Heaven we had a navy able to reform those enemies to mankind – or
crush them into non-existence. [33]

By the last year of Washington’s presidency,
a full sixteen percent of the federal budget was spent on extortion payments.
[34] Thomas Jefferson, who served as
Secretary of State under President Washington, believed that a time would come
when not only the economic effects of the extortion payments to the Muslim terrorists
would be felt by every American but also that using force would be the only
practicable way to end the terrorist attacks. He predicted:

You will probably find the tribute to all these powers make such a proportion
of the federal taxes as that every man will feel them sensibly when he pays
these taxes. The question is whether their peace or war will be cheapest?
. . . If we wish our commerce to be free and uninsulted, we must let these
nations see that we have an energy [willingness to use force] which at present
they disbelieve. The low opinion they entertain of our powers cannot fail
to involve us soon in a naval war. [35]

Eventually, Americans reached the point
Jefferson had predicted: not only did they feel the economic effects but they
also resented the unprovoked attacks and paying for rights already guaranteed
by international law. Therefore, tiring of the largely unsuccessful diplomatic
approach, military preparations were urged, thus embracing President George
Washington’s wise axiom that:

To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.

In the last year of Washington’s
presidency, he urged Congress to find the revenues to undertake the construction
of a U. S. Navy to defend American interests on the high seas. [37]
When John Adams

became President, he vigorously pursued those plans, earning the title “Father
of the Navy.” [38] Yet Adams was reticent to resort
to a military solution – not because he opposed the use of force but rather
because he didn’t think the people would fully support that option. [39] Furthermore, he believed that
even though the extortion payments were high, the increased revenue produced
by American commerce in that region would more than cover the costs. [40] Nevertheless, he longed for the change in international
attitude that would result if America used military forces to defend our citizens
and our rights.

Because America had adopted a policy of appeasement in response to the terrorist
depredations, the Barbary Powers viewed America as weak. In fact, William Eaton,
whom Adams had dispatched as American diplomat to Tunis (one of the four terrorist
powers), reported to Secretary of State Timothy Pickering that “an opinion long
since conceived and never fairly controverted among the Tunisians [is] that
the Americans are a feeble sect of Christians.” [41] Truly, with no
fear of consequence, Muslims found American targets especially inviting, fueling
even further attacks.

Adams truly understood the difference that
a naval force would make, explaining:

It would be a good occasion to begin a navy. . . . The policy of Christendom
[i.e., of the Christian nations not fighting back for their rights] has made
cowards of all their [the Christian nations’] sailors before the standard
of Mahomet. It would be heroical and glorious in us to restore courage to
ours. I doubt not we could accomplish it if we should set about it in earnest.

By the end of Adams’ administration, extortion payments to the Muslim terrorists
accounted for twenty percent of the federal budget. [43]

When Thomas Jefferson became President in 1801, having personally dealt with the
Muslim Barbary Powers for almost two decades, he had already concluded that there
were only three solutions to the terrorist problem: (1) pay the extortion money,
(2) keep all American ships out of international waters (which would destroy American
commerce), or (3) use military force to put an end to the attacks. [44] Jefferson discarded the first
two options, rejecting the second as a matter of bad policy, and the first because:

I was very unwilling that we should acquiesce in the . . . humiliation of
paying a tribute to those lawless pirates. [45]

He supported the third option, acknowledging:

I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace through the medium
of war. [46]

Jefferson offered several reasons he believed this would be the best policy,

Justice is in favor of this opinion; honor favors it; it will procure us
respect in Europe, and respect is a safeguard to interest; . . . [and] I think
it least expensive and equally effectual. [47]

Jefferson formed this position long before his presidency; so once inaugurated,
he began refusing payments to the offending nations. In response, Tripoli declared
war against the United States (and Algiers threatened to do so), [48]
thus constituting America’s first official war as an established independent nation.
Jefferson, determined to end the two-decades-old terrorist attacks, selected General
William Eaton (Adams’ Consul to Tunis) and
elevated him to the post of “U. S.
Naval Agent to the Barbary States,”
with the assignment to lead an American military expedition against the four terrorist
nations. Using the new American Navy built under Adams, Eaton transported the
U. S. Marines overseas; and when the offending nations found themselves confronted
by imminent American military action, all but Tripoli backed down.[49]

Eaton therefore led a successful military campaign against Tripoli that freed
captured seaman and crushed the terrorist forces. After four years of fighting,
in 1805 Tripoli signed a treaty on America’s terms, thus ending their terrorist
aggressions. (It is from the Marine Corps’ role in that first conflict with
Muslim terrorists from 1801-1805 that the opening line of the Marine Hymn is
derived: “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli
. . .”)

troops returned home, and the region briefly remained quiet, but by 1807, Muslim
Algiers had resumed attacks against American ships and sailors. [50] Jefferson, preoccupied
with efforts to avoid war with both Great Britain and France, did not return
military forces to the region.

Nevertheless, his actions had brought America its first respite to the decades
old attacks; so when he left office, Congress congratulated him, noting:

These are points in your administration which the historian will . . . teach
posterity to dwell upon with delight. Nor will he forget . . . the lesson
taught the inhabitants of the coast of Barbary – that we have the means of
chastising their piratical encroachments and awing them into justice. [51]

(Interestingly, Congressman Ellison took his ceremonial oath of office on the
Koran owned by Thomas Jefferson. A pertinent question might be: Why did Jefferson
own a Koran? A simple answer is: To learn the beliefs of the enemies he was fighting.
Recall that Jefferson had been personally exposed to Islamic beliefs when attempting
to secure peace between America and Muslim terrorists. Having been told by the
Muslim Ambassador that the Koran promised Paradise as a reward for enslaving,
killing, and war, Jefferson inquired into the irrational beliefs that motivated
the Muslim groups and individuals warring against America. Therefore, using Jefferson’s
Koran was perhaps not as noble an image as Ellison tried to portray, despite his
unfounded claim that the Koran is “definitely an important historical document
in our national history and demonstrates that Jefferson was a broad visionary
thinker. . . . It [the Koran] would have been something that contributed to his
own thinking.” [52] The Koran did contribute
to Jefferson’s thinking, but certainly not in the sense Ellison meant.)

When President Madison took office, he was immediately engulfed with the issues
that led to the War of 1812, and was unable to respond with military force against
the renewed terrorist attacks. (Significantly, during that time, American Jewish
Diplomat Mordecai Noah negotiated with the Muslims in an attempt to secure the
release of captured American Christians. [53])

When the war with the British ended in 1815,
Madison dispatched warships and the military against Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli,
placing the American forces under the command of Stephen

Decatur and William Bainbridge (two veteran military heroes of the war on terror
under Jefferson). America quickly subdued Algiers and brought her to the peace
table where in July 1815, Algiers ratified a treaty freeing all Christians and
ending future slavery of Christians. [54]
The American fleet then sailed for Tunis, but immediately after their departure,
Algiers renounced the treaty. However, two of the other nations being harassed
by Muslim terrorists (Great Britain and the Netherlands) brought their fleets
against Algiers and promptly defeated her, convincing Algiers to sign a new
peace treaty. [55]

Meanwhile, the American forces confronted Tunis, and later returned to Algiers,
where in December 1816, another treaty was signed to replace the one Algiers
had renounced. [56]
Thus America’s first War on Terror against Muslim terrorists was finally ended.
After thirty-two years of conflict and six years of armed warfare, the terrorist
attacks against Americans finally subsided.

During that extended conflict, the American public learned much about the character
of the Muslim terrorists through the official correspondence between the State
Department and its diplomats. For example, in addition to the insights gained
from diplomats such as Adams and Jefferson, General William Eaton informed the
Secretary of State why the Muslims were such dedicated foes:

Taught by revelation that war with the Christians [i.e., America] will guarantee
the salvation of their souls, . . . their [the Muslims’] inducements to desperate
fighting are very powerful. [57]

Even further insight came from General Eaton’s
writings after he commenced military action against Tripoli:

April 8th. We find it almost impossible to

inspire these wild bigots with confidence in us or to persuade
them that, being Christians, we can be otherwise than enemies to Musselmen
[Muslims]. We have a difficult undertaking! [58]

May 23rd. Hassien Bey, the commander in chief of the enemy’s forces,
has offered by private insinuation for my head six thousand dollars and double
the sum for me a prisoner; and $30 per head for Christians. Why don’t he come
and take it? [59]

Throughout the extended conflict, Muslims viewed their actions in terms of
a holy war against Christians; America, however, engaged in no religious war.
Therefore, in the numerous treaties with the Barbary Powers, America sought
to convince the Muslims there was no holy war – that as
Christians, America had no hatred of Muslims per se. (Language typical
in the treaties was that America had no “enmity against the laws, religion,
or tranquility” of the Muslims, and that our substantial differences of “religious
opinions shall [n]ever produce an interruption of the harmony between the two
nations.” [60])
America did not retaliate against Muslims because of their faith but rather
to end their terrorism against Americans.

At the time the Constitution
was written in 1787, and ratified from 1787-1790, Muslim attacks against Americas
had been occurring for years. It therefore became an understandable concern
of citizens as to whether a Muslim might ever be elected to federal office under
the new Constitution. The question was raised because of Article VI in the Constitution,
which declared:

The Senators and Representatives . . . shall be bound by oath

or affirmation to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall
ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the
United States.

Citizens wanted to know if the clause prohibiting
a religious test (i.e., prohibiting the federal government from examining the
religious beliefs of any candidate) meant that Muslims – then warring against
America – might be elected to federal office. Not only was that question specifically
raised but it was also succinctly answered in the process of debating and ratifying
the U. S. Constitution. For example, in the North Carolina ratifying convention,
Governor Samuel Johnston explained:

It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans, Pagans, &c., may be elected
to high offices under the government of the United States. Those who are Mahometans
(or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion) can never
be elected to the office of President or other high office but in one of two
cases. First, if the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether,
it may happen. Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose
such men as think as they do themselves. Another case is if any persons of
such descriptions should, notwithstanding their religion, acquire the confidence
and esteem of the people of America by their good conduct and practice of
virtue, they may be chosen. [61]

Signer of the Constitution Richard Dobbs Spaight similarly explained:

As to the subject of religion. . . . [n]o power is given to
the general

[federal] government to interfere with it at all. . . . No
sect is preferred to another. Every man has a right to worship the Supreme
Being in the manner he thinks proper. No test is required. All men of equal
capacity and integrity are equally eligible to offices. . . . I do not suppose
an infidel, or any such person, will ever be chosen to any office unless the
people themselves be of the same opinion. [62]

Supreme Court Justice James Iredell (nominated
to the Court by President Washington) agreed:

But it is objected that the people of America may perhaps choose
representatives who have no religion at all, and that pagans and Mahometans
may be admitted into offices. . . . But it is never to be supposed that the
people of America will trust their dearest rights to persons who have no religion
at all, or a religion materially different from their own. [63]

Theophilus Parsons (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts) also

No man can wish more ardently than I do that all our public offices may be
filled by men who fear God and hate wickedness; but it must remain with the
electors to give the government this security. [64]

The scope of Article VI was made clear by
the writers and ratifiers of the U. S. Constitution: Muslims could be
elected to office – but only if the people of that district desired it. Justice
Joseph Story, placed on the Court by James Madison, therefore explained in his
famous Commentaries on the Constitution that because of Article VI, on
the federal level it was possible that . . .

the Catholic and the Protestant, the Calvinist and the Armenian, the Jew
and the Infidel [Muslim], may sit down at the common table of the national
councils without any inquisition into their faith or mode of worship. [65]

Through the Constitution, the Framers had constrained the federal government;
however, they had left the people completely free – that is, the federal government
could not apply any religious test, but the voters could. As a court explained
in 1837:

The distinction is a sound one between a religion preferred by law, and a
religion preferred by the people without the coercion of law – between a legal
establishment which the present constitution expressly forbids . . . and a
religious creed freely chosen by the people for themselves. [66]

Keith Ellison was selected
by the voters of the 5th Congressional District of

Minnesota in the process specified by the U. S. Constitution. Perhaps Ellison
was chosen because the voters there “laid aside the Christian religion,” or
perhaps because Ellison “acquired the confidence and esteem of the people by
his good conduct and practice of virtue,” or because “the people themselves
are of the same opinion.” The reasons matter not, for Ellison was the legitimate
choice of the voters of the 5th District, and neither the federal government
nor citizens outside Minnesota’s 5th District may do anything about it. The
rest of the nation may be offended by what Ellison did with the Koran, but that
is irrelevant to the legitimacy of his office; he was not elected to represent
the nation but rather the voters in his district – as the other 434 Members
in the U. S. House of Representatives were elected to represent the voters in
their respective districts.

Yet, that being said, is there still an understandable
element of concern with Ellison’s election? Certainly. After all, America and
Americans are currently the target of attacks by members of the same Islamic
faith that Ellison professes; and while Ellison may not hold the same specific
beliefs as America’s enemies, he nevertheless holds the same religion. That
America might be concerned about Ellison because of the behavior of others in
his religion may seem unfair, but it is reality. Consider the recent election
results as an example.

Exit polls affirm that the top issue for voters in 2006 was “corruption and ethics.”
[67] This was logical considering the
highly-publicized indictments (and near indictments) of so many Republicans over
the previous two years: Rep. Duke Cunningham, Rep. Tom Delay, Rep. Bob Ney, Scooter
Libby (Chief of Staff for the Vice-President), Tony Rudy and Michael Scanlon (from
the office of the House Majority Leader), Governor Bob Taft, Governor Ernie Fletcher,
Karl Rove’s multiple visits to a Grand Jury, the Jack Abramoff scandal, the sex
scandal of Rep. Mark Foley, etc. Clearly, Republicans appeared “dirty” (even though
Democrat U. S. Rep. William Jefferson was tainted, there were far fewer Democrats
in the news for corruption problems); and since “corruption and ethics” was a
top issue for voters, Republicans paid the price. Consequently, voters threw several
dozen Republicans out of federal office. Yet many Republicans who lost in that
political tsunami were completely clean from any charge of corruption (e.g., Rep.
Jim Ryun, Rep. John Hostettler, Sen. Jim Talent, etc.); nevertheless, they were
the victims of their scandalized associates – that is, the perception accorded
the guilty Republicans was projected onto the innocent ones simply by virtue of
the fact that they, too, were Republicans. The same is true with Keith Ellison’s
Muslim faith.

Ellison may not have the same beliefs as
the Muslims who openly decry and even attack America; nevertheless, their behavior
reflects on him. It is therefore understandable that citizens outside his district
are highly concerned. This concern was heightened by the fact that Ellison himself
publicly flaunted his abrogation of American precedent by making his swearing-in
on the Koran a national issue. After all, the ceremonial swearing-in is always
a private ceremony, and what he did there would not have been an issue; however,
he chose to make that private ceremony a public demonstration in the face of
all Americans. Did any of the other 434 Members make a national issue of what
they would do in their private swearing-in? No, only Ellison; he therefore should
not decry the national controversy that he created.

Furthermore, the religion of Islam, both past and present, has yet to demonstrate
that it is friendly to a free government and a free people.

As a modern confirmation of this fact, the U. S. Commission on International
Religious Freedom monitors nations for egregious violations of religious liberty,
and the current list of the most religiously-intolerant nations
in the world is loaded with Islamic nations, including Eritrea, Iran, Pakistan,
Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan (secularism and communism
join Islam as the other two worst offenders). [68] On the watchlist for serious but slightly less
egregious violations are numbers of other Islamic nations, including Bangladesh,
Egypt, Indonesia, and Nigeria (secularism and communism again join Islam among
the worst violators). [69]
Significantly, the Judeo-Christian belief system protects freedom and religious
liberty; yet, other belief systems – especially that of Islam – have not exhibited
those protections.

That intolerance and tyranny are general
traits of Islam was also evident to observers two centuries ago – including
political philosopher Charles
Montesquieu (a particular
favorite of America’s Framers [70]). In what was perhaps his most
famous work (Spirit of

Laws, 1748), Montesquieu undertook a perusal of a thousand years of
world history to assess the impact of both Islam and Christianity upon government.
Based on his investigation, Montesquieu concluded:

A moderate [non-violent, non-coercive] government is most agreeable
to the Christian religion, and a despotic government to the Mahometan. [71]

He continued:

The Christian religion is a stranger to mere despotic power. . . . [Christian
rulers] are more disposed to be directed by laws and more capable of perceiving
that they cannot do whatever they please. While the Mahometan princes incessantly
give or receive death, the religion of the Christians renders their princes
. . . less cruel. [72]

To demonstrate the truth of this fact, Montesquieu noted:

It is the Christian religion that . . . has hindered despotic power from
being established in Ethiopia. [73]

Montesquieu’s reference to Ethiopia is instructive. Ethiopia became a Christian
nation shortly after the time of Christ. Islam made its first appearance there
in 615 AD; and even though Mohammed described Ethiopia as “a land of righteousness
where no one was wronged,” [74]
Muslims nevertheless began attempting to conquer and subjugate Ethiopia to the
Islamic faith.

While Muslims attacked and swept over the rest of Africa exacting forcible
conversions to Islam in a jihad (holy war), they were unable to defeat Christian
Ethiopia until 1528 AD. In 1535, Ethiopia’s leader appealed to Europe for help,
and by 1543, Christians in Ethiopia had regained their nation. Significantly,
both before and after that short period of Islamic rule, Ethiopia was characterized
by democratic government and non-coercion in religion. Ironically, Muslim jihads
have today been renewed against Christians in Ethiopia, [75] despite the fact that Muslims there are still being
well treated by Christians. [76]

Montesquieu, having examined the visible influences of both Christianity and
Islam upon governments, therefore recommended:

From the characters of the Christian and Mahometan religions, we ought without
any further examination to embrace the one and reject the other; for it is
much easier to prove that religion ought to humanize the manners of men than
that any particular religion is true. It is a misfortune to human nature when
religion is given by a conqueror. The Mahometan religion, which speaks only
by the sword, acts still upon men with that destructive spirit with which
it was founded. [77]

was not the only student of history to reach the same

conclusion. For example, president, statesman, international diplomat, and
legal scholar John Quincy Adams similarly observed:

[The] law of nations as practiced among Christian nations . . . is founded
upon the principle that the state of nature between men and between nations
is a state of peace. But there was a Mohametan law of nations which considered
the state of nature as a state of war. [78]

And in 1898, Charles Galloway, like so many historians before and after him,
also noted:

The Koran puts a premium upon war, offering the highest rewards to those
who slay the greatest number of infidels. Mohammed’s cardinal principle (that
the end justifies the means) consecrated every form of deception and lying
and encouraged every sort of persecution and violence. . . . The citizen is
the slave of the state; he has no rights to be respected. Mohammedanism is
an absolute despotism. [79]

At about the same time, historian John Fiske
reported of Muslim leaders:

The things done daily by the [Muslim] sovereigns were such as
to make a civilized imagination recoil with horror. One of these cheerful
creatures who reigned in the middle of the eighteenth century, called Muley
Abdallah, especially prided himself on his peculiar skill in mounting a horse.
Resting his left hand upon the horse’s neck, as he sprang into the saddle
he simultaneously swung the sharp scimitar [curved broad-blade sword] in his
right hand so deftly as to cut off the head of the groom who held the bridle.
From his behavior in these sportive moods one may judge what he was capable
of on serious occasions. He was a fair sample of the [Muslim] monarchs. [80]

These examples may seem to be extreme – that only the worst possible claims
about Islam have been selected, but such is not the case. As affirmed by the
current Commission on International Religious Freedom (as well as many other
governmental and non-governmental human rights organizations), these characteristics
accurately portray the societal outworkings of Islam today. Keith Ellison may
be the one to break this pattern and start something new with Islam, but in
the meantime, he should not be surprised that there is widespread concern over
his decision to publicly flaunt American tradition and values and replace them
with Islamic ones.

— — — — — —

Having addressed the historical perspective
of placing a Muslim in Congress, consider now lessons from history pertinent
to the issue of Islam in America today. American Christians (and religious Jews)
concerned about the presence of Islam in America should: (1) Keep a Statistical
Perspective; (2) Practice Free-Market Pluralism; and (3) Remember the Greater

1. Keep a Statistical Perspective

According to an ABC News’ Muslim affiliate in Great Britain:

Experts agree Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in America. As
many as five million Muslims live in the United States and in the last five
years, the number of mosques in this country has increased from 843 to about
1,300. Most of the growth has come from immigration, but much of it is home-grown.
For many black Americans [such as Ellison], Islam has become the religion
of choice and some one million – mostly men – have converted. [81]

Such news reports abound, and given the
regularly demonstrated characteristics of Islam around the world, such reports
concern many Americans. However, the claim that Islam is the fastest growing
religion in America (and the world) stems primarily from Islamic propaganda
rather than actual statistical data. In fact, search the web for the terms “Islam/fastest/growing/religion,”
and over eighty percent of the hits link to Islamic websites.

As an example of the propagandist nature of these claims, Muslims proudly assert
that Islam is growing at a rate of 235 percent. Yet, what is missing from that
claim is the time factor in the rate of growth. If Islam is growing at the rate
of 235 percent per year, that would be impressive; but it turns out that it
is has grown by 235 percent over a fifty-year period – not nearly as impressive.
In fact, the growth of Islam has been primarily from births, not conversions;
[82] and numbers
of the world’s religions – including Christianity – are growing at a statistically
faster rate than Islam. [83]

Furthermore, according to dozens of polls over recent decades, an average of
84 percent of Americans profess Christianity as their personal religion. [84] The next largest
religious affiliation is Jewish (about 2 percent [85]),
and other groups are even smaller, with Islam ranking third (0.5%), and then
Buddhist (0.5%), Hindu (0.4%), Universalist Unitarian (0.3%), [86]
and then still smaller groups such as Native American, Scientologist, Baha’I,
Taoist, New Age, Eckankar, Rastrafarian, Sikh, Wiccan, Deity, Druid, Santeria,
Pagan, Spiritualist, Ethical Culture, etc. [87] The combined total
of the different non-Christian religions in America (including both Islam and
Judaism) is regularly under four percent. [88]

Significantly, only two religions in America
have a following of larger than one percent: Christians (at 84 percent), and
Jews (at 2 percent). Muslims rank third in size in America, well below one percent.
Therefore, even if Muslims double in size, they still have only half the number
of Jews, and will continue to remain third on the overall list. “Fastest-growing”
sounds impressive, but it must be kept in perspective – Muslims have “soared”
to only 0.5 percent of Americans.

is not to say that the rise of Islam in America is something to be ignored;
far from it. Public policy and immigration policy on this subject should be
carefully examined. Nevertheless,

the innuendo suggesting the eminent takeover of Islam in America is overblown
and should not strike fear into the heart of any American.

2. Practice Free-Market Pluralism

Because of Biblical influences and Christian
civil leadership in colonial America, Americans early adopted a Free-Market
approach to religion, establishing that approach in law and policy. Significantly,
Christian leaders did not advocate this approach because they were indifferent
to Christianity or because they believed all religions were equal; they held
an opposite position on both points. However, based on Biblical teachings, Christians
believed that individuals must make their own voluntary choices about their
own faith, and then live with the consequences, even if that choice meant (from
a Christian’s viewpoint) the difference between Heaven and Hell.

God established this approach as His modus
from the very beginning. In fact, after creating Adam and Eve and
placing them in the Garden of Eden, He allowed them a choice – a choice that
meant the difference between continued fellowship with Him or separation from
Him. There was neither force, nor pressure, nor coercion applied to their decision;
it was completely their voluntary choice. They chose poorly, and then lived
with the consequences of their choice. God could have prevented them from choosing
wrongly, but He allowed them the choice.

Moses followed the same pattern (Deuteronomy 30:19), as did Joshua (Joshua
24:15), and Elijah. In fact, in Elijah’s contest against the prophets of Baal
atop Mount Carmel (I Kings 18), he offered the people a choice to follow the
God of Israel, or to follow the god Baal:

Elijah told the people, “How long will you waver between two views? If the
Lord is God, follow Him; if Baal is god, follow him.” (v. 21)

And not only did Elijah offer the people their choice, but he also permitted
the followers of Baal the opportunity to pursue their religion and even encouraged
them to take additional time in expressing their religion (vv. 25-29). When
they finished, Elijah would present his case for the God of Israel; the people
would then make their choice. Elijah – though outnumbered 450 to one (v. 22)
– nevertheless believed that when eternal truth was presented and the comparison
made, the people would choose correctly.

The New Testament is filled with examples following the same pattern, demonstrated
first by Jesus Himself, then by the Apostles Peter and Paul, then by ministers
Philip and Timothy, etc. Christians, both then and now – like the prophet Elijah
and the prophets before and after him – believed that when truth was presented
to people, it would eventually triumph. Therefore, all that was necessary to
prevail was to present eternal truth. Sometimes it was accepted (I Thessalonians
2:13); sometimes it was rejected (II Thessalonians 2:10-12); but the individual
lived with the consequences either way. Throughout the Scriptures, the key was
to present the unvarnished truth; God and the Holy Spirit (not man) would do
the work of validating the truth.

Following this Biblical model, the Founders
believed that the truth of Christianity would prevail on its own merits – that
Christianity need fear no other religion. As Thomas Jefferson explained:

Truth can stand by itself. . . . [I]f there be but one right
[religion], and

[Christianity] that one, we should wish to see the nine hundred
and ninety-nine wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But against
such a majority we cannot effect this by force. Reason and persuasion are
the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free inquiry must
be indulged; and how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse it ourselves.

Founder Noah Webster (a devout Christian and an early judge and legislator
responsible for specific language in the U. S. Constitution) similarly reminded

Let us reject the spirit of making proselytes to particular creeds by any
other means than persuasion. [90]

James Madison agreed:

If the public homage of a people can ever be worthy the favorable
regard of the Holy and Omniscient Being to Whom it is addressed, it must be
that in which those who join in it are guided only by their free choice –
by the impulse of their hearts and the dictates of their consciences; and
such a spectacle must be [exciting] to all Christian nations. [91]

Ezra Stiles (1727-1795),
Christian theologian and President of Yale, specifically rejoiced in the Free-Market
approach to religion produced by American Christianity:

Religious liberty is peculiarly friendly to fair and generous disquisition.
Here, Deism will have its full chance; nor need Libertines more to complain
of being overcome by any weapons but the gentle, the powerful ones of argument
and truth. Revelation [the Bible] will be found to stand the test to the ten
thousandth examination. [92]

Because of this Free-Market approach, American Christians openly received numerous
religious groups to America, including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and many others.

A Christian should never be fearful of any
other religion. After all, if an individual has chosen Christianity, it is because
he believes it superior to all others; he therefore should never be threatened
by a religion that he personally considers weaker than the one he practices.
In fact, if Christians fear the power of other religions over the power of their
own, then they are in the wrong religion. A Christian’s confidence in his own
religion, and his conviction that God will cause the truth to prevail when presented,
should cause him not to exclude religious competition but rather to embrace
it through America’s historic (and Biblical) Free-Market approach to religion.

3. Remember the Greater Danger

From a societal standpoint, there should be more concern over elected officials
who are secularists and will swear an oath on no religious book, than
for Muslims who swear on the Koran. After all, secularism presents a greater
threat to American traditions and values than does Islam. As Jewish radio host
and columnist Michael Medved warns:

It’s secularists and leftists who seek to alter the long-term essence of
this deeply religious, majority Christian country . . . rather than believing
fanatics who want to remake the nation as an alien, unrecognizable theocracy.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin of the Jewish Policy Center similarly warns:

God help Jews if America ever becomes a post-Christian [secular] society!
Just think of Europe! [94]

That secularism is more dangerous to a society than any specific religious
faith is statistically verifiable. For example, even though tens of millions
of lives have been lost at the hands of numerous religious faiths over the past
two thousand years (and most of those have indisputably been lost at the hand
of Islam), the number of lives lost at the hands of secular governments in just
the twentieth century alone is many times greater. For example, there were the
62 million killed by Soviet Communists; the 35 million by Chinese Communists;
the 1.7 million by the Vietnamese Communists; the 1.6 million in the Polish
Ethnic Cleansing; the 1 million in Yugoslavia; the 1.7 million in North Korea,
[95] etc.

Furthermore, the number of deaths perpetrated by individual secular leaders
is enormous. For example, Joseph Stalin was responsible for the murder of 42.7
million; Mao Tse-tung, 37.8 million; Hitler, [96]
20.9 million; Vladimir Lenin, 4 million; Pol Pot of the Khmer Rouge, 2.4 million;
Yahya Khan, 1.5 million; [97] and numerous others could be listed.
Significantly, secularism killed more in one century than did all religions
combined in the previous twenty.

This truth was also evident two centuries ago, causing Benjamin Franklin to
wisely quip:

If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it? [98]

Founding Father Benjamin Rush (an outspoken evangelical Christian), also understanding
the dangers of secularism, likewise acknowledged:

Such is my veneration for
every religion that reveals the attributes of the

Deity or a future state
of rewards and punishments that I had rather see the opinions of Confucius
or Mohamed inculcated upon our youth than see them grow up wholly devoid of
a system of religious principles. But the religion I mean to recommend in
this place is that of the New Testament. . . . [A]ll its doctrines and precepts
are calculated to promote the happiness of society and the safety and well
being of civil government. [99]

Rush was strongly committed to Christianity
and sought to incorporate its principles throughout society (he started the
Sunday School movement in America, founded America’s first Bible Society, endorsed
the Bible in public schools, started a number of religious schools and universities,
etc.); yet, he preferred having any religion in a society rather than no religion.
In fact, even Muslims (with the exception of Ellison – at least based on his
state legislative voting record) are pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-creation
science and Intelligent Design, pro-inalienable rights, etc.; secularists are
opposed to every one of these and other traditional moral and religious values.

Therefore, America, while concerned about Ellison and the potential dangers
of Islam, should be more concerned about secularists. The reality is that Members
of Congress who refuse to swear an oath on any religious book represent a greater
threat to American faith and culture than do those who swear on the Koran. These
three considerations should keep Americans of Judeo-Christian faith from becoming
overly fixated with Ellison’s faith or his flaunting of American traditions
and cultural values.

— — — — — —

Finally, to ensure that the negative manifestations
and characteristics of Islam do not become part of American life or culture,
there are several actions that citizens – particularly Christians – can take.

First, pray. (Enough said on this

Second, learn more about Islam, how it operates, and
what it teaches. There are numerous excellent primers available on this topic,
including the current New York Times bestseller by Robert Spencer: The
Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most

Intolerant Religion, and also The Politically Incorrect Guide to
(also by Robert Spencer). The wise recommendation of Chinese General
and international relations expert Sun Tzu (544-496 BC) remains applicable today:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of
a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory
gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself,
you will succumb in every battle. [100]

Third, Christians should exercise
the opportunity to use America’s religious Free-Market system to befriend and
evangelize Muslims. On the conviction that through God and the Holy Spirit eternal
truth will prevail, share your faith and spiritual truth with Muslims. (The
web is full of useful guides on sharing one’s faith with Muslims.)

Fourth, Christians should do all
they can to get other Christians out to vote – and to vote their values. In
2004, 28.9 million Evangelicals voted in the elections; [101]
in this election, however, only 20.5 million voted [102]
(a drop of 8.4 million Evangelicals). If citizens desire to see someone different
than Keith Ellison elected to office, they must show up at the polls.

since public policy does not address issues of theology but rather of common
values and of one’s philosophy of government, voting Biblical values may result
in voting for a candidate

that is not of the voter’s particular religion, race, gender, or political
party. As Jewish syndicated radio host and columnist Dennis Prager acknowledges:

I am a Jew (a non-denominational religious Jew, for the record), and I would
vote for any Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Mormon, atheist, Jew, Zoroastrian,
Hindu, Wiccan, Confucian, Taoist or combination thereof whose social values
I share. Conversely, I would not vote for a fellow Jew whose social values
I did not share. I want people of every faith, and of no faith, who affirm
the values I affirm to enter political life. [103]

Similarly, I am a Protestant Christian, but I will quickly vote for Jews, Mormons,
Catholics or any others who embrace Judeo-Christian values in public policy
before I would vote for many self-described Evangelicals who do not embrace
those values. For example, I would unhesitatingly vote for Jewish Rabbi Daniel
Lapin for any office for which he might run – and I would do so
over many Evangelicals who might run for the same office, for I personally know
the strength of Lapin’s Judeo-Christian worldview and his approach to public

Therefore, determine that it matters not the race, gender, religion, or political
party of the candidate, but rather his or her willingness to preserve America’s
religious, moral, and constitutional heritage. If Christians are not willing
to vote, and to vote their values, then they should not complain about the philosophy
or practices of those who are elected to office.

Fifth, if Christians are specifically
concerned about Ellison’s Muslim faith, perhaps they should follow the example
set by Francis Scott Key in his dealings with John Randolph; get to know him, build a trusting friendship relationship
with him, share your Christian faith with him, and see if he will convert to

Art and Photo Credits: p. 1: Ellison’s swearing in, Courtesy of Reuter’s; p.
3: Francis Scott Key, Courtesy of the Collection of the Maryland State Archives;
p. 4: Salieh Aga, Ambassador of Tripoli, Courtesy of Sotheby’s; John Trumbull’s
“American Prisoners,” Charles Allen Munn Collection Fordham University Library
Bronx, New York; p. 6: Thomas Jefferson, White House Historical Association
(White House Collection); p. 7: Ellison’s swearing in on Koran, Courtesy of
Reuter’s; p. 8: James Madison, White House Historical Association (White House
Collection); General William Eaton, Photo Courtesy of the Maryland Historical
Society; p. 9: Richard Dobbs Spaight, Independence National Historical Park;
p. 15: Thomas Jefferson, Independence National Historical Park.

© David Barton, 2007


[1] CNN.com, “Minnesota voters send first
Muslim to Capitol Hill” (at http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/08/muslim.elect/).

[2] Detroit Free Press, “1st Muslim
congressman thrills crowd in Dearborn” (at http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061226/NEWS05/612260367).

[3] Townhall.com, “Dennis Prager: America,
Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on” (at

[4] Townhall.com, “Dennis Prager: A response
to my many critics – and a solution” (at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DennisPrager/2006/12/05/a_response_to_my_many_

[5]See, for example, Washingtonpost.com, “But It’s Thomas
Jefferson’s Koran!” (at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/03/AR2007010300
); MSNBC.com, “First Muslim elected to
Congress; Minn. Democrat converted in college, was once with Nation of Islam”
(at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15613050/); CNN.com, “Minnesota voters send first
Muslim to Capitol Hill” (at http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/08/muslim.elect/); and Associated Press of Pakistan, “Keith
Ellison is first Muslim member of US Congress” (at http://www.app.com.pk/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1547&Itemid=2)..

[6] Hugh A. Garland, The Life of John
Randolph of Roanoke
(New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1853), Vol. II, p. 102,
to Dr. Brockenbrough, September 25, 1818.

[7] Garland, Life of John Randolph,
Vol. II, p. 102, to Dr. Brockenbrough, September 25, 1818.

[8] Garland, Life of John Randolph,
Vol. II, p. 100, to Dr. Brockenbrough, September 25, 1818.

[9] The Analectic Magazine (Philadelphia: Moses Thomas, 1814), Vol. IV, P. 433, “Defence of Fort M’Henry.”

[10] Garland, Life of John Randolph,
Vol. II, pp. 87-88, in a letter from Francis Scott Key, May-June 1816; pp.
99-100, Randolph’s letter to Francis Scott Key, September 7, 1818; pp. 103-104,
Key’s letter to Randolph; 106-107, Key’s reply to Randolph’s letter of May
3, 1819; and pp. 108-109, Key’s reply to Randolph’s letter of August 8, 1819.

[11] Garland, Life of John Randolph,
Vol. II, pp. 99-100, from a letter to Francis Scott Key, September 7, 1818; pp. 100-102,
from a letter to Dr. Brockenbrough, September 25, 1818; p. 106, from a letter
to Francis Scott Key, May 3, 1819; pp. 107-109, from a letter to Francis Scott
Key, August 22, 1819; pp. 373-374.

[12] National Humanities Center, “Islam
in America: From African Slaves to Malcolm X” (at http://www.nhc.rtp.nc.us/tserve/twenty/tkeyinfo/islam.htm).

[13] National Humanities Center, “Islam
in America: From African Slaves to Malcolm X” (at http://www.nhc.rtp.nc.us/tserve/twenty/tkeyinfo/islam.htm).

[14] DawaNet, “American Muslim History”
(at http://www.dawanet.com/history/amermuslimhist.asp).

[15] The Koran, Commonly Called The Alcoran of Mahomet,
Sieur De Ryer, translator (Springfield: Henry Brewer, 1806).

[16] Naval Documents Related to the
United States Wars with the Barbary Powers,
Claude A. Swanson, editor
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1939), Vol. I, p. v.

[17] A General View of the Rise, Progress,
and Brilliant Achievements of the American Navy, Down to the Present Time

(Brooklyn, 1828), pp. 70-71.

[18] Thomas Jefferson, The Writings
of Thomas Jefferson
, Andrew A. Lipscomb & Albert Ellery Bergh, editors
(Washington, D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1903), Vol.
V, p. 195, to William Carmichael, November 4, 1785.

[19] Thomas Jefferson, The Papers of
Thomas Jefferson,
Julian P. Boyd, editor (Princeton: Princeton University
Press, 1954), Vol. 9, p. 358, Report of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams to
John Jay, March 28, 1786.

[20] Naval Documents Related to the
United States Wars with the Barbary Powers
, Claude A. Swanson, editor
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1939), Vol. I, p. 55.

[21] Jefferson, Papers, Vol. 9,
p. 358, to John Jay, March 28, 1786.

[22] Jefferson, Writings, Vol.
VI, pp. 47-48, to John Adams, January 11, 1787.

[23] John Adams, The Works of John
Adams, Second President of the United States
, Charles Francis Adams, editor
(Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1853), Vol. VIII, p. 394, to Thomas Jefferson,
May 23, 1786.

[24] President Washington selected Col. David Humphreys
in 1793 as sole commissioner of Algerian affairs to negotiate treaties with
Algeria, Tripoli and Tunis. He also appointed Joseph Donaldson, Jr., as Consul
to Tunis and Tripoli. In February of 1796, Humphreys delegated power to Donaldson
and/or Joel Barlow to form treaties. James Simpson, U. S. Consul to Gibraltar,
was dispatched to renew the treaty with Morocco in 1795. On October 8, 1796,
Barlow commissioned Richard O’Brien to negotiate the treaty of peace with
Tripoli. See, for example, Ray W. Irwin, The Diplomatic Relations of the
United States with the Barbary
Powers (Chapel Hill: The University
of North Carolina Press, 1931), p. 84.

[25] See, for example, the 1787 treaty
with Morocco; the 1795, 1815, and 1816 treaties with Algiers; the 1796 and
1805 treaties with Tripoli; and the 1797 treaty with Tunis. The American
Diplomatic Code, Embracing A Collection of Treaties and Conventions Between
the United States and Foreign Powers from 1778 to 1834
, Jonathan Elliot,
editor (New York: Burt Franklin, 1970; originally printed 1834), Vol. I, pp.

[26] Jefferson, Papers, Vol. 9,
p. 358, to John Jay, March 28, 1786.

[27] Gardner W. Allen, Our Navy and the Barbary Corsairs
(Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1905), p. 66.

[28] Allen, Our Navy, p. 57.

[29] Allen, Our Navy, p. 56.

[30] George Washington, The Writings
of George Washington
, John C Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: Government
Printing Office, 1940), Vol. 33, p. 385, to the Secretary of the Treasury,
May 29, 1794; see also Library of Congress, “American Memory: America
and the Barbary Pirates: An International Battle Against an Unconventional
Foe” (at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/jefferson_papers/mtjprece.html).

[31] Washington, Writings, Vol.
33, p. 397, to The Secretary Of The Treasury, June 7, 1794.

[32] Washington, Writings, Vol.
29, p. 185, to Marquis de Lafayette, March 7, 1787.

[33] Washington, Writings, Vol.
28, p. 521, to Marquis de Lafayette, August 15, 1786.

[34] The federal budget was $6,115,000
in 1795; a payment of nearly $1 million was given that year to Algiers alone,
not including what was given to the other Barbary Powers. See U.S. Department
of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United
(White Plains, NY: Kraus International Publications, 1989), p.
1106; and Library of Congress, “American Memory: America and the Barbary Pirates:
An International Battle Against an Unconventional Foe” (at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/jefferson_papers/mtjprece.html)

[35] Jefferson, Writings, Vol.
V, p. 91, to John Page, August 20, 1785.

[36] Writings of George Washington,
John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1939),
Vol. 30, p. 491. “First Annual Message to Congress,” January 8, 1790.

J. Fenimore Cooper, The History of the Navy of the United States of America
(Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1847), pp. 123-124; see also A
Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: 1789-1897
, James
D. Richardson, editor (Washington, D. C.: Published by Authority of Congress,
1897), Vol. I, p. 193, from Washington’s “Eighth Annual Address,” December
7, 1796.

[38] Dictionary of American Navel Fighting
, s.v. “John Adams”; see also Hazegrey.org, “Dictionary of American
Naval Fighting Ships
, Vol. III: John Adams” (at http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/frigates/j_adams.htm).

[39] John Adams, The Works of John
Adams, Second President of the United States
, Charles Francis Adams, editor
(Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1853), Vol. VIII, p. 407, to Thomas Jefferson,
July 3, 1786.

[40] Adams, Works, Vol. VIII, p.
379, to John Jay, February 22, 1786.

[41] Charles Prentiss, The Life of
the Late Gen. William Eaton
(Brookfield: Merriam & Company, 1813), p.
146, to Mr. Smith, June 27, 1800.

[42] Adams, Works, Vol. VIII, p.
407, to Thomas Jefferson, July 3, 1786.

[43] Wikipedia, “First Barbary War” (at

[44] Jefferson, Writings, Vol.
V, p. 327, to Colonel Monroe, May 10, 1786.

[45] Jefferson, Writings, Vol.
I, p. 97, from Jefferson’s Autobiography.

[46] Jefferson, Writings, Vol.
V, p. 364, to John Adams, July 11, 1786.

[47] Jefferson, Writings, Vol.
V, p. 365, to John Adams, July 11, 1786.

Naval Documents, Vol. I, pp. 451, 453-454; see also Glen Tucker, Dawn
Like Thunder: The Barbary Wars and the Birth of the U. S. Navy
Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1963), p. 127.

[49] Report of the Committee to Whom was Recommended on the Twenty-Sixth Ultimo A Resolution Respecting William Eaton(City of Washington: A&C Way, 1806), January 8, 1806; Documents Respecting the Application of Hamet Caramalli, Ex-Bashaw of Tripoli (Washington, D.C.: Dwane & Son), pp. 58-60, letter from John Rodgers to Robert Smith, Secretary of the Navy, June 8, 1805.

[50] Glenn Tucker, Dawn Like Thunder: The Barbary Wars and the Birth of the U. S. Navy (Indianapolis and New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1963), p. 448.

[51] Jefferson, Writings, Vol.
XVII, p. 399, from the Congress, “Farewell Address to Thomas Jefferson, President
of the United States,” February 7, 1809.

[52] Detroit Free Press, “Ellison:
Quran influenced America’s founding fathers” (at http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070105/NEWS01/70105032/1004/

[53] Frederick C. Leiner, The End of Barbary Terror
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 29-30;
see also Jewish Vir
tual Library, “Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress: Mordecai Manuel Noah” (at
A description of Noah’s diplomatic service in his
own words
is found in: Mordecai M. Noah, Travels in England, France, Spain, and the Barbary
States, In the Years 1813-14 and 1815
(New York: Kirk and Mercein, 1819).

[54] Treaties and Conventions Concluded
Between the United States of America and Other Powers Since July 4, 1776

(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1889), pp. 6-10, “Treaty of Peace
and Amity,” June 30 and July 6, 1815, Articles III and VI; see also Yale Law
School, “The Avalon Project: Treaty of Peace, Signed Algiers June 30 and July
3, 1815” (at http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/barbary/bar1815t.htm).

[55] British State Papers (London:
James Ridgway and Sons, London, 1977), Vol. 3, p. 516, “Declaration of the
Dey of Algiers, relative to the Abolition of Christian Slavery,” August 28,

[56] Treaties and Conventions Concluded
Between the United States of America and Other Powers Since July 4, 1776

(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1889), pp. 10-15, “Treaty of Peace
and Amity,” December 22 and 23, 1816; see also Yale Law School, “The Avalon
Project: Treaty of Peace
and Amity, December 22 and 23, 1816
” (at http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/barbary/bar1816t.htm).

[57] Prentiss, Life, pp. 92-93,
to Timothy Pickering, June 15, 1799.

[58] Prentiss, Life, p. 325, from
Eaton’s journal, April 8, 1805.

[59] Prentiss, Life, p. 334, from
Eaton’s journal, May 23, 1805.

[60] The American Diplomatic Code, Embracing A Collection of Treaties
and Conventions Between the United States and Foreign Powers from 1778 to
, Jonathan Elliot, editor (New York: Burt Franklin, 1970; originally
printed 1834), Vol. I, p. 493, Article 15.

[61] The Debates in the Several State
Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution,
Jonathan Elliot,
editor (Washington, D. C.: Jonathan Elliot, 1836), Vol. IV, pp. 198-199, Governor
Samuel Johnston, July 30, 1788.

[62] Elliot’s Debates, Vol. IV,
p. 208, Richard Dobbs Spaight, July 30, 1788.

[63] Elliot’s Debates, Vol. IV,
p.194, James Iredell, July 30, 1788.

[64] Elliot’s Debates, Vol. II,
p. 90, Mr. Parsons, January 23, 1788.

[65] Joseph Story, Commentaries on
the Constitution of the United States
(Boston: Hilliard, Gray, and Company,
1833), Vol. III, p. 731, §1873.

[66] State v. Chandler, 2 Harr.
553, 2 Del. 553, 1837 WL 154 (Del.Gen.Sess. 1837).

[67] CNN.com, “Corruption named as key
issue by voters in exit polls” (at http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/07/election.exitpolls/index.html).

[68] U.S. Commission on International
Religious Freedom, “Countries of Particular Concern” (at http://www.uscirf.gov/countries/countriesconcerns/index.html).

[69] U.S. Commission on International
Religious Freedom, “USCRIF Watch List” (at http://www.uscirf.gov/countries/countriesconcerns/watchlist/2006watchList.html).

[70] Donald S. Lutz, The Origins of
American Constitutionalism
(Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University
Press, 1988), pp. 142-145.

[71] Charles Secondat de Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws (London: J. Nourse
and P. Vaillant, 1752), Vol. II, p. 147.

[72] Montesquieu, Spirit, Vol. II, p. 147.

[73] Montesquieu, Spirit, Vol.
II, p. 147.

[74] Food for the Hungry International,
“Christian History: Christianity in Ethiopia” (at http://www.fhi.net/fhius/ethiopiafamine/christian.html).

[75] See Voice of Martyrs Canada, “Continuing
Persecution in Rural Ethiopia” (at http://www.persecution.net/news/ethiopia7.html);
“Ethiopian Missionary Beaten and Arrested” (at http://www.persecution.net/news/ethiopia8.html);
“Ethiopian Evangelist Killed for Refusing to Deny Christ,” (at http://www.persecution.net/news/ethiopia9.html);
“Evangelist Badly Beaten” (at http://www.persecution.net/news/ethiopia10.html);
“Churches Burned and Christians Attacked” (at http://www.persecution.net/news/ethiopia12.html);
“Christians Arrested Following Violence” (at http://www.persecution.net/news/ethiopia13.html);
and many others.

[76] Somaliawatch.org, “Coping With Islamic
Fundamentalism Before And After September 11” (at http://www.somaliawatch.org/archivemar02/020316601.htm),
stating “According to tradition, a group of Arab followers of Islam in danger
of persecution by local authorities in Arabia took refuge early in the seventh
century in the Aksumite Kingdom of the Ethiopian Christian highlands. They
were well treated and permitted to practice their religion as they wished.
Consequently, the Prophet Muhammad concluded that Ethiopia should not be targeted
for Jihad. Ethiopia’s Christian rulers left no doubt, however, that Islam
would be subservient to Christianity. Christian-Islamic relations remained
generally cordial until Islamic raids from the Somali port of Zeila plagued
the highlands in the late fifteenth century.”

[77] Montesquieu, Spirit, Vol.
II, pp. 148-149.

[78] John Quincy Adams, The Jubilee
of the Constitution
(New York: Samuel Colman, 1839), p. 73.

[79] Charles B. Galloway, Christianity
and the American Commonwealth
(Nashville, TN: Publishing House Methodist
Episcopal Church, 1898), pp. 39-40.

[80] John Fiske, The Critical Period
of American History: 1783-1789
(Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1896), p.

[81] BICNews, “Fastest-Growing Religion
Often Misunderstood” (at http://www.iol.ie/~afifi/BICNews/Islam/islam21.htm).

[82] FrontPageMag.com, “Don Feder: Oh,
Those Mischievous Muslims!” (at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=25182).

[83] For a statistical analysis, see article
The Interactive Bible, “Encyclopedia of Islam Myths” (at http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-myths-fastest-growing.htm).

[84] Pew Research Center, “The 2004 Political Landscape”
(at http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=757)
and “The Diminishing Divide…American Churches, American Politics” (at http://people-press.org/reports/print.php3?PageID=451);
The Barna Group, “Annual Study Reveals America Is Spiritually Stagnant” (at
and “American Faith is Diverse, as Shown Among Five Faith-Based Segments”
(at http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=105);
City University of New York, “Graduate Center: American Religious Identification
Survey, 2001 (at http://www.gc.cuny.edu/faculty/research_studies/aris.pdf);
Adherents.com, “Largest Religious Groups in the United States of America”
(at http://www.adherents.com/rel_USA.html)
and “Gallup Polling Data over Last Ten Years” (at http://www.adherents.com/rel_USA.html
– gallup
); Harris Interactive, “Large Majority of People Believe They
Will Go to Heaven” (at http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=167);
ABCNews.com, “Poll: Most Americans Say They’re Christian; Varies Greatly From
the World at Large” (at http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=90356);
American Public Media, “A Look at Americans and Religion Today” (at http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/godsofbusiness/galluppoll.shtml);
The Gallup Poll, “Focus On Christmas” (at http://poll.gallup.com/content/default.aspx?ci=14410&pg=2);
Baylor University, “American Piety in the 21st Century” (at http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/33304.pdf).

[85] City University of New York, “Graduate
Center: American Religious Identification Survey, 2001” (at http://www.gc.cuny.edu/faculty/research_studies/aris.pdf);
Adherents.com, “Gallup Polling Data over Last Ten Years” (at http://www.adherents.com/rel_USA.html
– gallup
); Pew Research Center, “The 2004 Political Landscape”
(at http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=757).

[86] City University of New York, “Graduate
Center: American Religious Identification Survey, 2001” (at http://www.gc.cuny.edu/faculty/research_studies/aris.pdf).

[87] City University of New York, “Graduate
Center: American Religious Identification Survey, 2001” (at http://www.gc.cuny.edu/faculty/research_studies/aris.pdf).

[88] City University of New York, “Graduate
Center: American Religious Identification Survey, 2001” (at http://www.gc.cuny.edu/faculty/research_studies/aris.pdf).

[89] Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia
(Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1794), pp. 233-234, “Query 17.”

[90] Noah Webster, An Oration Pronounced
Before The Citizens of New-Haven On The Anniversary Of The Independence Of
The United States, July 4, 1798
(New-Haven: T. and S. Green, 1798), p.

[91] James Madison, A Proclamation, for September
9, 1813, from The Weekly Register, Saturday, July 31, 1813, p. X.

[92] Ezra Stiles, The United States
Elevated To Glory And Honor A Sermon, At the Anniversary Election, May 8th,
(New Haven, MA: Thomas & Samuel Green, 1783), p. 56.

[93] Townhall.com, “Michael Medved: Religion,
madness and secular paranoia” (at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/MichaelMedved/2006/10/04/

[94] WorldNetDaily, “Rabbi Daniel Lapin:
Which Jews does the ADL really represent?” (at http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51671).

[95] R. J. Rummel, Death By Government
(New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1994), p. 4.

[96] Despite the fact that some Holocaust
survivors believe Hitler to have been a Christian, recent documentation made
available from the OSS (the noted intelligence agency of World War II), proves
that Hitler was anti-Christian and that the Nazis engaged in a systematic
campaign to eradicate European Christianity. See Nuremberg Project, “July
6, 1945 – The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches”
(at http://org.law.rutgers.edu/publications/law-religion/nurinst1.shtml);
see also Christianity Today, “Christian History Corner: Final Solution, Part
II” (at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2002/102/52.0.html),
and BBC News, “Nazi trial documents made public” (at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1753469.stm).
Furthermore, Hitler killed more than twice as many Gentiles as Jews (while
Hitler had 6 million Jews murdered, he was responsible for the deaths of a
total of 20.9 million people. See Rummel, Death, p. 8. And both he
and the Nazi party were linked to anti-Biblical occultism (see, for example,
The History Channel, “In Search of History: Hitler and the Occult” (at http://store.aetv.com/html/product/index.jhtml?id=72289&
and the list of books at Brough’s Books, “Nazi Occultism” (at http://www.dropbears.com/b/broughsbooks/military/occult_nazism.htm).

[97] Rummel, Death, p. 8.

[98] Benjamin Franklin, The Works of
Benjamin Franklin,
Jared Sparks, editor (Boston: Tappan, Whittemore and
Mason, 1840), Vol. X, p. 282, to Thomas Paine.

[99] Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary,
Moral and Philosophical
(Philadelphia: Thomas & Samuel F. Bradford, 1798),
p. 8, “Of the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic.”

[100] Yuni Words of Wisdom, “Sun Tzu on
The Art of War: An Intelligent Guide to Life Strategies and Wisdom” (at http://www.yuni.com/library/suntzu.htm).

[101] In the 2004 elections, a total
of 125,736,000 votes were cast; twenty-three percent of voters were “Evangelicals,”
thus translating into 28.9 million votes. See sources at New York Times,
“Religious Voting Data Show Some Shift, Observers Say,” (at http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50F17F7355B0C7A8CDDA80994DE404482
and U. S. Census Bureau, “Voting and Registration in the Election of November
2004” (at http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p20-556.pdf).

[102] In the 2006 elections, a total
of 85,251,089 votes were cast; twenty-four percent of voters were “Evangelicals,”
thus translating into 20.5 million votes. See sources at George Mason University,
“United States Elections Project: 2006 Voting-Age and Voting-Eligible Population
Estimates” (at http://elections.gmu.edu/Voter_Turnout_2006.htm);
New York Times, “Religious Voting Data Show Some Shift, Observers Say”
(at http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50F17F7355B0C7A8CDDA80994DE404482

[103] “A response to my many critics
– and a solution,” Dennis Prager, Tuesday, December 5, 2006 (at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DennisPrager/2006/12/05/a_response_to_my_many_