Friday, April 27, 2012

Rebuttal: Islam's Influence on Founding Fathers

Seriously... I can not believe I am reading things like this. Ms Shadia I know you are not a historian and I barely claim to be but it is difficult for me to read this blog Unveiled: A Muslim Girl in the O.C. and not be a little frustrated by the content. First let me be clear that I understand you are wanting to make a connection to your heritage and history and the place you call home today. I am glad you feel at home here in the United States because that is exactly what America is all about. Since its beginning America has been a refuge of people from all over the world seeking something different whether it be religious freedom, economic independence, or 15 minutes of fame. And for whatever reason you have arrived in our country I am happy for you and excited you call this home.,0,5532464.story

I do have to address however the idea that the founding fathers used Islamic teachings in the foundation of our country. It's true Locke, Smith, and Montesquieu were key figures in influencing individuals such as Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison but the connection from those Middle Eastern ideas and religion to our founding fathers is difficult to connect. When Europe decided that the crusades were a good idea they came to the Middle East and surprisingly learned a lot from the Muslim culture. Much of this is rarely talked about but technology, government, economics, and culture were among the many things that Europe took away from the Muslim people (along with Jerusalem briefly but that's another topic). So it goes without saying that Islam had a major impact on the European culture. If that is where your connection is coming from I have to say it is a little weak. All cultures have taken ideas and technologies from other cultures. It does not mean that the ideas came from them. Mongolia overtook China, Persia conquered Babylon, Greece ruled over half the world, and then Rome did, England became one of the most recent empires stretching across every ocean; the point being ideas have been spread and exchanged throughout history. My difficultly is in stating "America's forefathers were influenced by Islam." I have been studying the founding era for some time, it is my favorite, and I have seen no evidence of Washington, Jefferson, or Adams being students of Islam, reading Islam teachings, or stating they are influence by Islam or anything from the Middle East. Of course we would see hundreds to thousands in this country who were Islamic. There were hundreds or thousands of different religions in this country... we were founded as a country of religious freedom and refuge. Something Islamic nations have not been able to claim since their beginning. Of course Jefferson owned a Koran he was a student of religion and culture, he was a renaissance man like no other at the time. These connections from America's founding to Islam is weak at best.

I am not trying to disparage the Islamic religion simply the correlation to America's founding. I think more investigation needs to be found, more research needs to be done before we simply throw out statements of that nature, and an Islamic researcher probably has a bit of bias, not your best source to prove a point like this. 

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