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June 4, 2009

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Islam and America

This was by far not one of the big grafs in Obama’s Cairo speech, but for some reason I found it really stirring:

I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, “The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.” And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our Universities, excelled in our sports arenas, won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch. And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers — Thomas Jefferson — kept in his personal library.

Oh right. History.

The whole thing is terrific, but you don’t need me to tell you that. (Here are quick reactions from Stephen Walt and James Fallows.)

Posted June 4, 2009 at 11:17 | Comments (1) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted


Since before the founding too - some number of enslaved Africans were Muslim. Not such a positive thing to mention in a speech though.

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