The late father of Huma Abedin, the devout Muslim who’s co-chairing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, sympathized with the Barbary pirates in America’s first bout with Muslim terrorism and criticized President Thomas Jefferson for not appeasing them by paying their infidel tax.
In a 1974 dissertation for his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, Syed Z. Abedin slammed Jefferson, one of America’s most popular founding fathers, for raising a U.S. naval force and invading Tripoli during the Barbary Wars against Islamic pirates attacking U.S. ships in the early 1800s.
Over several years, the Muslim extremists in North Africa had been firing on American merchant ships in the Mediterranean and killing crews and passengers, while taking survivors hostage. Jefferson received shocking reports from Algiers and Tripoli of mistreatment of captured American men and women who were turned into slaves of the Muslim states.
Muslim corsairs demanded the US pay tribute, or jizya, as ransom for the hostages, as well as protection for safe passage through the Mediterranean. The level of tribute amounted to millions in today’s dollars and at one point reached a whopping 10 percent of the US national budget.
Jefferson inquired why the Barbary potentates thought they had the right to prey on American shipping and enslave passengers, and he said he was told by Muslim envoys that “it was written in the Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
This in mind, Jefferson refused to pay the jizya tax, arguing that paying tribute would encourage more attacks; and he started a navy and marine corps to defend US ships. The stand infuriated Yusuf Karamanli, the pasha of Tripoli, who declared war on the US in 1801. Jefferson, in turn, deployed frigates to the Barbary Coast and heavily bombarded their ships and ramparts. Eventually, the Muslim pirates released American hostages and ceased their aggression in the Mediterranean.
Karamanli wasn’t the only Muslim embittered by Jefferson’s resolve against Islamofascism.
In his 350-page doctoral thesis, “America’s First Foreign War: A New Look at U.S.-Barbary Relations,” Abedin argued that Jefferson should have adopted the strategy of appeasement set forth by diplomat Joel Barlow, the American consul at Algiers from 1795 to 1797, who had used State Department funds for ransoms to free 100 American merchant sailors from the Muslim pirates. Barlow helped draft the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, which includes the phrase: “the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded by the Christian religion.”
Abedin praised Barlow as a “gentleman” who respected Islamic “principles.”
“He could not escape the obvious conclusion that a small naval force effectively employed could easily coerce the ancient potentates of the North African coast into submission,” he wrote. “But this observation never tempted him into calling forth for fire and brimstone for all Barbary. He responded to the people of North Africa as people, and not as pawns in some game of power.”
Added Abedin: “He did not, again like Jefferson, have one prescription for Europe and another, altogether different one, for North Africa.”
Abedin implied that Jefferson wasn’t really defending Americans but exploiting the North African Muslims, who he claimed “were not after money” and “made no captures.” He did not take kindly to Jefferson calling them “lawless pirates.”
“Through centuries of experience the North Africans had learnt to be on guard against the Western powers,” Abedin wrote, adding that “American methods and techniques gradually took on the aspect of the hated Europeans — and in no case is this more painfully evident than in that of Thomas Jefferson.”
Abedin suggested that by creating the Navy and Marine Corps, Jefferson gave license to American warmongering and imperialism.
“Once the exploits of American naval heroes were underway, Jefferson’s task at home became easier,” he wrote. “Where once the very existence of the navy was under threat, now increasing appropriations became available with every year of the conflict.”
“The Tripoli War had saved the American navy,” he lamented, and led to the spreading of “the American way.”
To Huma Abedin’s father, a noted Islamic supremacist, the Marines’ victory over the Barbary savages — memorialized in their hymn, “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli” — was an invasion of Muslim lands. And Jefferson was the original Islamophobe.
Several years after writing his dissertation, Syed Abedin helped found an Islamic institute in Saudi Arabia whose mission is to spread Sharia law in the West. He also edited and published the institute’s propaganda organ, the “Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs.”
After he died in 1993, his wife took over the radical Muslim publication —which opposed women’s rights and blamed the US for 9/11 — and Huma Abedin helped her mother edit it for 13 years.
In a 1971 interview titled “The World of Islam,” which was broadcast on Western Michigan University television, Syed Abedin claimed governments should uphold Sharia law and that Islamic institutions are the only ones acceptable in the Muslim world.