From the Halls of Montezuma, To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country’s battles, In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom, And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title, Of United States Marine.
Every American should be able to recite these opening lines from the Marine hymn. It reminds of us of the men and women who defend our country and fight for our freedom down through the decades and centuries.
There’s a story behind that line that says, “To the shores of Tripoli,” that most Americans are not familiar with. It involved our country’s first encounter with Islamic terrorists, also known as the First Barbary War (1801-1805). The History Channel website says that President Thomas Jefferson, “…ordered U.S. Navy vessels to the Mediterranean Sea in protest of continuing raids against U.S. ships by pirates from the Barbary states – Morocco, Algeria, Tunis and Tripolitania. American sailors were often abducted along with the captured booty and ransomed back to the United States at an exorbitant price. After two years of minor confrontations, sustained action began in June 1803, when a small U.S. expeditionary force attacked Tripoli harbor in present-day Libya.”
Leading up to the First Barbary War, in 1786, before Jefferson was president, while serving as an ambassador for the new United States, Jefferson (and John Adams) met with Tripoli’s ambassador to Great Britain to see if they could get an answer as to what right the Barbary states had that allowed them to kidnap and slaughter the innocent crews of passing merchant ships. Here’s what Jefferson recorded: “We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the Grounds of their pretentions to make war upon Nations 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.
“The Ambassador answered us 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.”
I find it most interesting to read of this exchange between the ambassador from Tripoli and Jefferson where the Muslim guy just tells Jefferson straight up: We are killing and kidnapping your people and stealing your merchandise because our holy book tells us to.
The ambassador’s answer was so matter of fact, it makes you wonder if when finished he just looked at Jefferson and Adams and said: “Any more questions?”
Since its inception in the 7th century, Islam has used the sword to advance its territory. It goes on to this day. The goal is to bring the world into submission to Sharia law. This is what motivates all these “terrorist” groups. ISIS is getting a lot of attention, but what is going on with Boko Haram against the people of Nigeria today is just as horrible. This practice of using force to compel conversion is a distinctive to Islam compared to the world’s other major religions.
President Obama refuses to acknowledge the problems within Islam. Ironically, it is the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, himself a Muslim, who is having the courage to speak up publicly calling for a “religious revolution” among Muslims challenging clerics to denounce violence and jihad as a way of advancing Islam.
For the sake of the civilized world, may his tribe increase.