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The two-volume Quran owned by Thomas Jefferson and used by Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., during his swearing in ceremony, are shown at the Library of Congress, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, in Washington. Ellison is the first Muslim elected to Congress. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, left, joins Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to Congress, as they look at the Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson which Ellison later used during his swearing in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
Surprise, surprise, Thomas Jefferson owned a copy of the Koran. I already blogged about this (see post just below), but as more and more of dhimmedia becomes enraptured with Rep. Ellison's use of these books, and continues to hail them as having "an unassailably all-American provenance" (cf. WaPo) and the like, the more and more aggravated I get. And I haven't even checked the lefty blogs yet.
So let me repeat myself -- or rather, repeat Joshua E. London in a history lesson that sheds more light on the subject than Keith Ellison or the mainstream media ever will:
.... Very simply put, the Barbary pirates were committed, militant Muslims who meant to do exactly what they said.
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.”
You should note, too, while I have your attention and the Pope is being accused of making "veiled reference" to Islam (was that pun intended?), that he is not the first pope to tangle with Islamic "militants."
In The Year the Muslims Took Rome (i.e. 846)
... some Muslim Arabs arrived in a fleet at the mouth of the Tiber, made their way to Rome, sacked the city, and carried away from the basilica of St. Peter all of the gold and silver it contained.
And this was not just an incidental attack. In 827 the Arabs had conquered Sicily, which they kept under their dominion for two and a half centuries. Rome was under serious threat from nearby.
In 847, the year after the assault, the newly elected pope Leo IV began the construction of walls around the entire perimeter of the Vatican, 12 meters high and equipped with 44 towers. He completed the project in six years.
These are the “Leonine” walls, and significant traces of them still remain. But very few today know that these walls were erected to defend the see of Peter from an Islamic jihad. And many of those who do know this remain silent out of discretion....
Will that same "silence of discretion" keep the historical context of Jefferson's Koran under wraps as well? Not if I can help it.
UPDATE: Atlas points out that it may have been Jefferson's Koran, but that wasn't his prayer book. She's also got an eye on CAIR's reaction and suggests Rep. Ellison read Andrew Bostom's article, America's First War on Terror. Great advice ... for all of us.