|A Chinese compass from 210 BC. 900 years before Islam.|
In the speech he says:
Thomas Jefferson once held a sunset dinner here with an envoy from Tunisia -- perhaps the first Iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago. And some of you, as you arrived tonight, may have seen our special display, courtesy of our friends at the Library of Congress -- the Koran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. And that's a reminder, along with the generations of patriotic Muslims in America, that Islam -- like so many faiths -- is part of our national story.Now, Thomas Jefferson did indeed have a copy of the Koran. But not because he was fascinated by the Religion of Peace and wanted to sup of its peaceable tenets, but because he was involved in a negotiation with the Islamic Barbary pirates, and wanted to understand what drove them.
He found out. The late great Christopher Hitchens shows how he did find out in "Jefferson's Quran".... Tripoli's envoy told Jefferson that the right of Muslims to make piratical attacks on local shipping, including of the newborn US, was based on the Koran; that it was:
.... founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it 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 Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.Hence Jefferson needed his copy of the Koran, to see what drove this supremacism.
And so Islam being "part of our national story", as Obama claims, is correct: in that from the founding of the Republic, Islam was at war with the US -- as made clear by the envoy from Tripoli.
STILL LATER: Thomas Jefferson did not hold first Iftar dinner; his Koran was to understand Barbary piracy... [here]
At the risk of cliché by falling back on a Nazi analogy, it's a bit like saying that because Churchill had a copy of "Mein Kampf" to understand the thinking of Hitler, he thereby showed his respect for the thoughts therein. Of course he did not. And the same for Jefferson's ownership of a Koran.
There is no evidence that Jefferson had a respect for Islam (he had no respect for any religion), but rather that he had the Koran as a reference tome.
This is not the first time that Obama has egregiously misrepresented Islam as something more benign than it is.
In his Cairo speech to the Muslim world in June 2009 he talked glowingly of the many alleged Muslim inventions, including the compass and printing.
But neither of these was the invention of the Muslim world.
The compass, for example, is recorded in China as early as the Han Dynasty, some 900 years before Muhammad came on the scene and foisted Islam on the world....
And here we have Obama misrepresenting history yet again, either through ignorance (hard to believe) or through deliberate duplicity (much more likely).
And that's a shocker. Obama, the Iftar troof shiftar.
******BTW: In the Iftar speech, Obama mentions attacks on mosques. He doesn't mention that five separate studies of US mosques -- including one by a Muslim imam and one by the New York Police Department -- that show, consistently, that 80% of mosques in the US teach radical and violent anti-west ideology. Not that that justifies attacks on mosques. Just that some balance is needed here. Including the balance that there are more "hate crime" attacks on Jews than Muslim, in both absolute and relative terms. There is a lot of Muslim victimhood going on.
BTW(II): In his Iftar speech Obama also fulsomely praises Huma Abedin, the Hilary Clinton aide who was recently attacked for having Muslim Brotherhood ties. The american politariat closed ranks behind her and labelled her a patriotic American Muslim. I thought those attacking her, including the kooky Michelle Bachman, were leading with their collective chins in attacking Abedin, as they gave a free kick to the opposition, whereas MB encroachment into the US government is a fact (and attacking Abedin would deflect from that fact; or so I thought).
But I may have been wrong. Mea culpa.
Abedin's mother Saleha is head of an outfit called the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child, which calls for abolishing laws against female genital mutilation; abolishing minimum age laws for marriage, allowing polygamy, etc...
Meantime Huma Abedin herself was editor of the Institute of Minority Muslim Affairs in 2008 which has confirmed ties with Al-Qaeda and a Mission Statement written by the execrable Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi of whom I've written before.
Not so innocent then, Ms Abedin. Unless having long-standing and close ties with outfits which seek to install Sharia law in the US are innocent....
Other: Andrew McCarthy's take on that issue here.