Saturday, February 24, 2007

Totten Interviews Oren

Michael J. Totten has a great interview with historian Michael Oren, author of Power, Faith, and Fantasy, at Pajamas Media. An excerpt:

MJT: When speaking of the Barbary War you used the word “jihad.” I don’t think you used that word in your book, though, did you?


Oren: No, I didn’t really have to. There was the case in 1785 where Thomas Jefferson is sent to negotiate with the envoy of the Pasha of Tripoli. Jefferson says to him that America only wants peace with the Barbary states. And he says to Jefferson “No, we want war with you. We have a holy book called the Koran which says that we have to conquer and enslave all infidel states. And the United States is an infidel state. And moreover our holy book the Koran tells us that if we are killed in the course of carrying out this war that we’ll go directly to Paradise.” So I didn’t think I even had to put the label jihadist on there. I figured that remarkable report of Jefferson’s at the Continental Congress would suffice to alert contemporary readers what Jefferson was dealing with in the Middle East.


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