|Salon.com gets it wrong on Jefferson's Koran. Surprise!|
Most of the comments on this Founding Father's ownership of the founding document of Islam seem to think he did so because he respected Islam and wanted to know more about it. Not so. The latter, sure: he wanted to know more about Islam because Islamic Berber pirates were attacking American ships in North African waters and he had been told by the Tripoli ambassador that they did so because of their Islamic religion, which required them to predate on infidels.
So, in keeping with China's Sun Zi's Art of War, Jefferson wanted to "know thine enemy".
So he bought a Koran.
He didn't buy a Koran because he respected the Religion of Peace.
He bought it to study the enemy.
Christopher Hitchens, the wise and inimitable, here.