What The Barbary Pirates Teach Us About Today’s Threat from Totalitarian IslamPosted: September 17, 2014
The reader is encouraged to examine this piece by Joshua London, author of Victory in Tripoli: How America’s War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation
London recounts the problem of Muslim pirates from the Barbary Coast plundering U.S. ships and killing or enslaving passengers and crew members.
Americans didn’t understand why their shipping was being targeted by Muslim pirates, but in a 1786 meeting between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams (then ambassadors to France and England, respectively) and Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Tripolitan ambassador to England, Adja told the two why the raids were happening and Jefferson/Adams reported back to the Continental Congress what Adja told them:
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 [Muslim] who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.
In other words, these Muslims were living out the tenets of their beliefs as they understood it from their history, tradition, and text they held sacred.
London goes on to make an excellent point:
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.
It is fashionable these days for the left to invoke any one or a combination of the above three ’causes’ to ‘explain’ much of today’s Islamist aggression in the world today, but London’s example from history reveals that such thinking is largely clever manipulation on the part of leftists who are sour on western civilization and/or Islamist apologists who peddle their narrative to their naïve target audience, who, interestingly, seem to be made up largely of intellectuals.
It is very easy to chalk it all up to regional squabbles, economic depression, racism, or post-colonial nationalistic self-determinism. Such explanations undoubtedly enter into part of the equation: They are already part of the propaganda that clouds contemporary analysis. But as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams came to learn back in 1786, the situation becomes a lot clearer when you listen to the stated intentions and motivations of the terrorists and take them at face value.
Hello, Barack Obama? John Kerry? Hillary Clinton?