In 1796, U.S. Vowed Friendliness With Islam

i_love_my_bff.gif luv my bff image by 14jocelyn_2008

Wait. The Founding Fathers befriended... Muslims? What?! Why, the very idea! Aren't we supposed to sneer at them and persecute them and insult them and burn their books and stuff?

Has the United States ever engaged in a crusade against Islam? No, never. And, what's more, one of the country's earliest diplomatic documents rejects this very idea.

Exactly 210 years ago this week, toward the end of George Washington's second presidential administration, a document was signed with the first of two Barbary Pirate states. Awkwardly titled the "Treaty of Peace and Friendship, signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796 (3 Ramada I, A. H. 1211), and at Algiers January 3, 1797 (4 Rajab, A. H. 1211)," it contains an extraordinary statement of peaceful intent toward Islam.

The agreement's 11th article (out of twelve) reads: As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, - as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, - and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

In June 1797, the Senate unanimously ratified this treaty, which President John Adams immediately signed into law, making it an authoritative expression of American policy.

Yes, it's true. The United States would have friended the Muslims on Facebook, had it existed back then.

There's a whole lot more where that came from, but here's one more tidbit:

This antique treaty implicitly supports my argument that the United States is not fighting Islam the religion but radical Islam, a totalitarian ideology that did not even exist in 1796.


H/t: Gr8RDH