On Wednesday, Feb 18th the president said that “islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.” Folks, score one for the president, that statement is not false. However, the president was holding a conference on “countering violent extremism” and he wasn’t talking about terror.
Instead he was rehashing statements that he has made before. “I also know that islam has always been a part of America’s story.” June 2009, Cairo speech. “Islam has always been part of America” Marking the start of ramadan 2010. I’m not sure what point he is trying to make, but it seems that he is trying to force islam to the forefront of America as if it were Muslim religious dissenters that formed this country and not Christians. See, America has a long, distinct, and proud Judeo-Christian history, which is why the Declaration of Independence contains no less than five references to God…not allah.
Instead the president claims that ISIS and other terror organizations are not part of islam, instead they are perverting and twisting islam to meet their own ideology, “We are at war with people who have perverted islam.” Well we are certainly at war with those who are fighting jihad in the name of allah and islam, that is for certain. But let me get back to his statement that islam has been woven into our history. Again he is right, but not for his reasons.
America declared her independence from Great Britain on July 4th of 1776, a truly momentous day in the history of the world and truly gained independence in 1783. But, have you ever heard the Marine Corps
song Hymn (as pointed out by a former Marine)…the one that starts from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli? Do you know what those are in reference to, especially the shores of Tripoli?
Shortly after the United States gained independence our fledgling country was dragged into the islamic world through a series of unprovoked attacks by Muslim pirates, the Barbary pirates, who just so happened to be the islamic terrorists of the eighteenth century. America has been in a fight against the ideology of islam since day one of our founding, so truly islam is woven into our fabric. The red stripes of our flag, that bear witness to the blood shed for liberty, independence, and our God-given rights, could attest to this if they could but speak.
In the late eighteenth century Muslim pirates from the North African states of Tripoli, Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers were the scourge of the Mediterranean. They would board and capture ships, often enslaving the crews or holding them for ransom if they did not kill them first. After the Treaty of 1783 that formalized our independence, America was responsible for protecting our own commerce against these islamic fanatics. When in 1785, Algerian pirates captured two American ships the dey of Algiers held twenty-one Americans for a ransom of nearly $60,000. Americans paid the ransoms, but Thomas Jefferson warned our leaders that this would only embolden the islamic pirates into more demands for payments, and it did. In 1795 alone America paid ransom and tributes totaling one million dollars.
In 1801, now President, Jefferson rejected Tripoli’s demand of $225,000 in tribute and an additional tribute of $25,000 annually to go unmolested in International waters. Instead Jefferson sent warships, this quickly dissuaded Tunis and Algeria to break with their alliance with Tripoli but some pirates still continued. Then in 1805 an American fleet under Commodore John Rogers and a land force assembled by Captain William Eaton threatened to capture Tripoli and install a Pasha more amenable to American interests on the throne and strangely enough, met with overwhelming force hostilities came to an end, for a time.
A second war in 1815 and naval victories by Commodores William Bainbridge and Stephen Decatur caused Barbary piracy against American vessels to come to an end. The U.S. demanded the release of Americans held as slaves and an end to tribute. European powers, loathe to make waves, continued to pay tribute to these terrorists well into the 1830’s.
Make no mistake, America has a long history of conflict and combat with islamic forces, ISIS is just the newest generation of fourteen hundred years of conquest by muslims. The president may say we are not at war with islam, but for certain islam is at war with us, and it only takes one belligerent to start a war, especially when that belligerent is bound and determined on conquering all of western civilization. So yes, the religion of mohammed has been woven into the tapestry of America through conflict and bloodshed, just how it has woven the cancer of islamic terror into the world narrative.