Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Thomas Jefferson's Quran: Islam and the Founders

Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Thomas Jefferson's Quran: Islam and the Founders

Article excerpt

ISLAM INCLUDED Thomas Jefferson's Quran: Islam and the Founders Denise A. Spellberg 2013. pp. 392. HB. $27.95

Knopf, New York, N.Y.

The burden of proof that the Founders wanted an inclusive society fell upon Minnesota congressmanelect Keith Ellison, who in a 2007 photo-op reenactment of his oathtaking used the English translation of the Qur'an that Thomas Jefferson purchased in 1765. In 1765, it would be 11 years before the writing of the Declaration of Independence.

Spellberg relates that while Jefferson held little or no respect for Catholicism, Islam, or Judaism, he recognized that the adherents of Islam should have the same rights as those of other faiths; even though they were unsure if there were any Muslims in America. Instead they set to chart an inclusive future - a setback to those who sought a Protestant nation.

Jefferson pursued a lifelong interest in the study of Islam. …

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