Posted by Curt on 3 January, 2007 at 11:10 am. 9 comments already!

Now isn’t this special:

The first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, attacked for planning to use the Koran at his swearing-in instead of a Bible, will use a copy of the Muslim holy book once owned by Thomas Jefferson, an official said on Wednesday.

Representative-elect Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat, requested the 18th century copy of the Koran for the unofficial part of his swearing in on Thursday, according to Mark Dimunation, chief of rare books and special collections at the Library of Congress in Washington.

Ellison, a Muslim convert who traces his U.S. ancestry to 1741, wanted a special copy of the book to use, Dimunation said, and approached the library for one.

The third U.S. president, serving from 1801 to 1809, Jefferson was a collector with wide-ranging interests. His 6,000-volume library, the largest in North America at the time, became the basis for the Library of Congress.

Thomas Jefferson once questioned Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Tripolitan ambassador to Britain about the continuing piracy of the United States ships to which he told the future President that it was their duty as good Muslims to take the war to the unbeliever:

Take, for example, the 1786 meeting in London of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Tripolitan ambassador to Britain. As American ambassadors to France and Britain respectively, Jefferson and Adams met with Ambassador Adja to negotiate a peace treaty and protect the United States from the threat of Barbary piracy.

These future United States presidents questioned the ambassador as to why his government was so hostile to the new American republic even though America had done nothing to provoke any such animosity. Ambassador Adja answered them, as they reported to the Continental Congress, “that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged 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 Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

Sound familiar?

The candor of that Tripolitan ambassador is admirable in its way, but it certainly foreshadows the equally forthright declarations of, say, the Shiite Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in the 1980s and the Sunni Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, not to mention the many pronouncements of their various minions, admirers, and followers. Note that America’s Barbary experience took place well before colonialism entered the lands of Islam, before there were any oil interests dragging the U.S. into the fray, and long before the founding of the state of Israel.

America became entangled in the Islamic world and was dragged into a war with the Barbary states simply because of the religious obligation within Islam to bring belief to those who do not share it. This is not something limited to “radical” or “fundamentalist” Muslims.

Which is not to say that such obligations lead inevitably to physical conflict, at least not in principle. After all peaceful proselytizing among various religious groups continues apace throughout the world, but within the teachings of Islam, and the history of Muslims, this is a well-established militant thread.

The Islamic basis for piracy in the Mediterranean was an old doctrine relating to the physical or armed jihad, or struggle.

Now we all know that the swearing in on the bible is symbolic only, but an important symbol at that.  The fact that he would swear in on a book that deems this kind of conduct as a-ok makes my spine tingle. 

This should also make your spine tingle:

Lying for Allah is okay, according to the eminent Islamic scholar Imam Ghazali, who wrote:

" When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible " (Ref: Ahmad Ibn Naqib al-Misri, The Reliance of the Traveller, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller , Amana publications, 1997, section r8.2, page 745).

Imam Ghazali does not say this without knowledge. He is basing his fatwa on the words and examples of the Prophet himself.

In one hadith we read that the prophet calls upon his followers to assassinate Ka’b ibn Ashraf, the chief of a Jewish tribe who was wary of Muhammad and tells them it is okay to tell a lie to deceive him. Bukhari, Volume 5, #369

The fact is that Muslims feel no pang of conscience to lie if that lie is said for Allah’s sake and his religion. If the lie is said for a good cause it is okay.

I’m sure Keith Ellison wouldn’t do anything like that…right?

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