Keith Ellison, the Muslim from Minnesota who was elected to Congress will use Thomas Jefferson’s Koran for his Swearing-In ceremony. From Frederic J. Frommer with the Associated Press:
Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn., decided to use the centuries-old Koran during his ceremonial swearing-in on Thursday after he learned that it is kept at the Library of Congress. Jefferson, the nation’s third president and a collector of books in all topics and languages, sold the book to Congress in 1815 as part of a collection.
“It demonstrates that from the very beginning of our country, we had people who were visionary, who were religiously tolerant, who believed that knowledge and wisdom could be gleaned from any number of sources, including the Koran,” Ellison said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
“A visionary like Thomas Jefferson was not afraid of a different belief system,” Ellison said. “This just shows that religious tolerance is the bedrock of our country, and religious differences are nothing to be afraid of.”
Uh, that would be partly correct. Religious tolerance IS the bedrock of our country. However, I must disagree with with the statement that “religious differences are nothing to be afraid of.” Muslim extremists (and maybe it’s not just the extremists) are THE reason for most of the killing and the wars going on right now. They were responsible for 9/11, they are responsible for 99% of terrorist attacks throughout the world. Seems to me that the people who don’t practice religious tolerance or respect religious differences are the Muslims.
The report continues:
An English translation of the Arabic, Jefferson’s Koran was published in 1764 in London, a later printing of one originally published in 1734.
“This is considered the text that shaped Europe’s understanding of the Koran,” Dimunation said.
It was acquired in 1815 as part of a more than 6,400-volume collection that Jefferson sold for $24,000 to replace the congressional library that had been burned by British troops the year before, in the War of 1812.
“It was a real bargain,” Dimunation said.
The Koran survived an 1851 fire in the Capitol. Dimunation described it as a two-volume work, bound in leather with marble boards.
“As a rare book librarian,” he said, “there is something special about the idea that Thomas Jefferson’s books are being walked across the street to the Capitol building, to bring in yet another session of governmental structure that he helped create.”
This is a brilliant move on Ellison’s part because he has taken the repulsive idea of a member of Congress being sworn in on a Koran and tied it to Thomas Jefferson – one of our country’s founding fathers. Many people will figure that if Jefferson owned a Koran, then he must have been “okay” with the Muslim religion. Muslims worldwide have declared jihad on the United States and ANYONE who is not Muslim. I think it was a mistake to elect an “enemy” to Congress.
More at Hot Air.
And check out Cogito – he has an interesting discussion of this topic that goes back to Jefferson’s relationship with Muslims.