In a move which could be seen as a bit of political savvy, Rep. Keith Ellison has decided to swear his oath of office on a copy of the Koran owned by one of the founding fathers. From the Washington Post:
Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, found himself under attack last month when he announced he’d take his oath of office on the Koran — especially from Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode, who called it a threat to American values.
Yet the holy book at tomorrow’s ceremony has an unassailably all-American provenance. We’ve learned that the new congressman — in a savvy bit of political symbolism — will hold the personal copy once owned by Thomas Jefferson.
Since Ellison has opened the gates on this one, lets take a look at what
Jefferson had to say about the Muslim faith and its practitioners.
“Several muslim countries along the North African coast had established the tradition of plundering the ships of European and American merchants in the western Mediterranean and eastern
Atlantic, capturing the crews and then demanding ransom from the respective governments for their release. In a joint message to their superiors in Congress, Adams and Jefferson described the audacity of these terrorist attacks, pirates leaping onto defenseless ships with daggers clenched in their teeth. They had asked the ambassador from Tripoli, Adams and Jefferson explained, on what grounds these outrageous acts of unbridled savagery could be justified: “The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of the prophet, that it was written in their koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their [islams] 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….”
Looks like Jefferson most likely would have agreed with Virgil Goode. To say the man was ahead of his times would be an understatement. He was sounding the alarm centuries ago. But go ahead Congressman, swear your oath on a book that contributed nothing, and in fact is the antithesis of the system of government which it will be your charge to uphold…it makes perfect sense.