"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

John Quincy Adams on Islam

 John Quincy Adams,1844
A colorized version of the first photograph ever taken of a U.S. President

John Quincy Adams
"Islam's War Against Everyone"

  • Federalist Party U.S. Senator John Quincy Adams knew Islamic terrorism from first hand experience. Like they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
  • Here are a few highlights from a much larger article that any thinking American should read.

(Jihad Watch)  -  Today, a side of Adams that was not made much of in his lifetime has for many of us become the most important, and much-needed, part of his legacy: his critical view of Islam and of Muhammad. He derived these views  from experience — his own and his father’s — of Muslim behavior (both of the Barbary Pirates and of the Ottoman Turks), from his lifelong study of history, and from his intensive reading of the Qur’an. 

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were sent in 1786 to negotiate in London with the ambassador from Tripoli, Sidi Haji Abdrahaman, about the seizure of American ships. They reported back in a joint letter to John Jay (then a senior American diplomat), explaining that “We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the Grounds of their pretensions to make war upon a Nation who had done them no Injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our Friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation." 


Marine Corps Lt. Presley O'Bannon in battle at Derna, in modern-day Libya, 1805
USS Philadelphia burning at the Battle of Tripoli Harbor
during the First Barbary War in 1804

John Quincy Adams would certainly have learned from his father about what the Tripolitanian ambassador had maintained in his discussions with Adams and Jefferson. He may even have been later shown a copy — he was then a junior at Harvard — of the letter that was sent to John Jay. 

He also had his own rich store of observations of Muslim behavior, for the Barbary Pirates continued, throughout the next thirty years, from 1786 to 1816, to attack American shipping and seize American seamen, who were then held for exorbitant ransom. For a while after the First Barbary War (1801-1805) with Tripoli, attacks decreased. But when the Americans became preoccupied with European matters, eventually fighting the British in the War of 1812, the Barbary states — Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers — resumed attacks on American and European shipping. 

Once the War of 1812 had ended, and the Treaty of Ghent (1814) signed, the Americans resumed a more aggressive policy in the Mediterranean. When America defeated Algiers in the  Second Barbary War, that spelled the end of the last major campaign of the Barbary pirates. Western ships increasingly surpassed in speed and deadly force (better cannons) those of the Muslims, and the Barbary pirate threat to Christian shipping steadily decreased as a result.

The other example John Quincy Adams had immediately before him of Muslim aggression against Christians was the suppression, by the Turks, of the Greeks when they began their war for independence. That war lasted from 1821 to 1832, and while the Greeks were ultimately successful, Adams, who during this period was Secretary of State (1817-1825), and then President (1825-1829), received direct accounts of the extreme brutality by the Muslim Turks against the Greek Christians.
But it was not just his contemporaneous experience of Muslim behavior toward Christians that formed John Quincy Adams’s view of Islam. He was a deep student of history all of his life. 
After he left the Presidency in 1829, John Quincy Adams undertook almost immediately to write and publish his strong views on Islam and Muslims. This “Essay on Turks,” little noted at the time, has now become the best-known of all his contributions as an American statesman. The “Essay on Turks” is now more famous than the three treaties he negotiated (the Treaty of Ghent, the Treaty of 1818 with Great Britain, and the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819), more famous than his work on the Monroe Doctrine, more famous than his defense of Indian rights, or even than his argument  at the Supreme Court that led to the setting free of African slaves in the Amistad case.
A slave caught by Muslim Barbary pirates painted by Ernest Normand (1859–1923)
1 million to 1.25 million white Christian Europeans were enslaved in North Africa, from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th, by Muslim slave traders from Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli alone.
Read More:
Barbary slave trade

The “Essay on Turks”  startles us now because we are not used to such a forthright and truthful account of Muhammad and of Islam.  We live in a different time, sunk in a swamp of appeasement and interfaith outreach, when pusillanimity and evasion are the order of the day in public discussions of Islam.  The most-quoted part of the “Essay on Turks” was put up at Jihad Watch just a few days ago, on July 11, the 250th anniversary of Adams’s birth, but it deserves to be reposted:
In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust, by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE.
Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. That war is yet flagrant; nor can it cease but by the extinction of that imposture, which has been permitted by Providence to prolong the degeneracy of man. While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men. The hand of Ishmael will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. It is, indeed, amongst the mysterious dealings of God, that this delusion should have been suffered for so many ages, and during so many generations of human kind, to prevail over the doctrines of the meek and peaceful and benevolent Jesus.
The precept of the Koran is perpetual war against all who deny that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.”
The natural hatred of the Mussulmen towards the infidels is in just accordance with the precepts of the Koran.
In writing his “Essay on Turks,” he was really writing an essay on all Muslims, even if what prompted him was the behavior, at the time of its writing, of the Ottoman Turks. In particular, Adams was concerned with the brutality of the methods used by the Turks  in suppressing the Greeks who were fighting for their independence. 
For the Ottoman Turks could reasonably be taken to represent Islam and Muslims.They had for centuries possessed the caliphate; they were the leading Muslim power at the time; it was their brutal behavior toward Christians that was most in evidence. And indeed, he makes clear early on that while his essay is about the Turks, they were simply practicing the same Islam, with the same Qur’an,  as the Arabs, the Afghans, the Muslims in India, in Central and East Asia.
John Quincy Adams had seen how both the Turks, and the North African pirates, from Tunis, Tripoli, and Algiers, had behaved toward Christians. He had read the Qur’an, understood its contents, realized that the war against all Infidels was not an aberration: “The natural hatred of the Mussulmen towards the infidels is in just accordance with the precepts of the Koran.” He had first heard of this from his father’s account of the Tripolitanian ambassador, in 1786. 
Nothing he learned subsequently, through reading or observation, suggested another — kinder, gentler — view of Islam. Hatred, and perpetual war against the Infidels — these Qur’anic injunctions accorded with the dispatches he received from those reporting on the Barbary Pirates, and the Ottoman-ruled Greece and the Balkans. 
That war could never end, until the final defeat of one side or the other.
Read The Full Article . . . .

The Merchant's Pearl by Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma,  (c. 1884)
Islamic Sexual Slavery
CircassiansSyrians, and Nubians were the three primary races of females who were sold as sex slaves in the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Circassian girls were described as fair, light-skinned and were frequently sent by the Circassian leaders as gifts to the Ottomans. They were the most expensive, reaching up to 500 pounds sterling and the most popular with the Turks. 
Second in popularity were Syrian girls, with their dark eyes, dark hair, and light brown skin, and came largely from coastal regions in Anatolia. Their price could reach up to 30 pounds sterling. They were described as having "good figures when young". Nubian girls were the cheapest and least popular, fetching up to 20 pounds sterling. 
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, sexual slavery was not only central to Ottoman practice but a critical component of imperial governance and elite social reproduction.
In the Muslim Turkish devşirme, which connotes "blood tax" or "child collection", young Christian boys from the Balkans and Anatolia were taken from their homes and families, converted to Islam, and enlisted into the most famous branch of the Kapıkulu, the Janissaries, a special soldier class of the Ottoman army that became a decisive faction in the Ottoman invasions of Europe.
Hundreds of thousands of Europeans were captured by Barbary pirates and sold as slaves in North Africa and the Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries. These slave raids were conducted largely by Arabs and Berbers rather than Ottoman Turks. However, during the height of the Barbary slave trade in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Barbary states were subject to Ottoman jurisdiction and were ruled by Ottoman pashas.
See more at:
Arab Slave Trade
Slavery in the Ottoman Empire



The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force

sums things up pretty well

JEL said...

Any suggestions on how to acquire a copy of John Adams' "Essay on Turks?" A search for the document was unsuccessful.

Gary said...

I do a Byzantine military Blog. While tons of information is on the internet so much is not. Adams' collected works may be in book form in university libraries. It is not the kind of thing with mass appeal.

Anonymous said...

the religion of peace

Anonymous said...

read bernard lewis , and edward said , skip tariq ramadan on the subject