U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), following the lead of the insufferable Keith Ellison, opted to be inducted with a copy of the Koran for her congressional swearing-in ceremony. “My swearing in on the (Koran) is about me showing that the American people are made up of diverse backgrounds and we all have love of justice and freedom,” Tlaib told reporters. “My faith has centered me. The prophet Mohammed was always talking about freedom and justice.”
“It’s important to me because a lot of Americans have this kind of feeling that Islam is somehow foreign to American history,” Tlaib said. “Muslims were there at the beginning.”
Tlaib isn’t wrong. Muslims were, indeed, “there at the beginning.” The famous Thomas Jefferson copy of the Koran that Keith Ellison used, for example, was translated by British lawyer George Sale and its purpose was for use by Christians seeking to convert Muslims, to prepare evangelizers to combat Islam.
According to his foreword, Sale intended for Christians to use his Koran to “undeceive those who, from the ignorant or unfair translations which have appeared, have entertained too favourable an opinion of the original, and also to enable us effectually to expose the imposture.”
More important, and to Tlaib’s point, it was the struggle against Islam that introduced the United States to an ideological conflict thereto “foreign to American history.”