Muslims Captured and Enslaved Hundreds of Americans

The following passages are excerpted from the excellent book, The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805, by Richard Zacks:

In 1801, just after the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson, Tripoli had become the first country ever to declare war on the United States. The ruler, Yussef Karamanli, had ordered his Janissaries to chop down the flagpole at the U.S. consulate to signal his grave displeasure with the slow trickle of gifts from America. Jefferson, when he learned the news, had responded by sending a small fleet to confront Tripoli and try to overawe it into a peace treaty.

For more than two centuries, the Barbary countries of Morocco, Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli (now called Libya) had been harassing Christian ships, seizing cargo and capturing citizens. Algiers once boasted more than 30,000 Christian slaves, including one Miguel Cervantes, before he wrote Don Quixote. European powers in the 1500s and 1600s fought ferocious battles against Muslim pirates like Barbarosa. However, over time, a cynical system of appeasement had developed. The nations of Europe paid tribute — in money, jewels, and naval supplies — to remain at peace. England and France — in endless wars — found it cheaper to bribe the Barbary pirates than to devote a squadron to perpetually trawling the sea off Africa. At its core, expediency outweighed national honor.

When the thirteen American colonies split off from mother England, they lost British protection. The United States found itself lumped in the pile of potential Barbary victims, alongside the likes of Sardinia and Sicily. (From 1785 to 1815, more than six hundred American citizens would be captured and enslaved. This nuisance would prove to be no mere foreign trade issue but rather a near-constant hostage crisis.)

In colonial days, preacher Cotton Mather had described Barbary slaves as living for years in dug-out pits with a crosshatch of bars above... Galley slaves also lived to tell of being chained naked to an oar, forced to row ten hours at a stretch. Slaves, facing forward, pushed the forty-foot-long oars by rocking back to near horizontal, as though in a grotesque limbo contest, and then lurching with full strength, again and again. During hard chases, they were sustained by a wine-soaked rag shoved in their mouths...

Rituals varied, but in one account (of a North African slave auction) an American stated that after being purchased: "I was forced to lie down in the street and take the foot of my new master and place it upon my neck." Another described being forced to lick the dust along a thirty-foot path to the throne of the [king] of Algiers (now called Algeria).

John Foss survived captivity in Algiers, and his popular account ran in several American newspapers in the late 1790s, fleshing out the nightmare. He wrote of prisoners (Americans who had been captured on American ships and enslaved) routinely shackled with forty-pound chains, forced to perform sunrise-to-sunset labor ranging from digging out sewers to hauling enormous rocks for the harbor jetty. He matter-of-factly described the most common Barbary punishment for light infractions: bastinado of 150 strokes: "The person is laid upon his face, with his hands in irons behind him and his legs lashed together with a rope. One taskmaster holds down his head and another his legs, while two others inflict the punishment upon his breech (his buttocks) with sticks, somewhat larger than an ox goad. After he has received one half in this manner, they lash his ankles to a pole, and two Turks (Muslims) lift the pole up, and hold it in such a manner, as he brings the soles of his feet upward, and the remainder of his punishment, he receives upon the soles of his feet."

In 1803, Tripoli captured the Philadelphia. The Americans onboard the beautiful 1,200-ton American frigate were captured too, most of them enslaved.

The loss of the Philadelphia and its 307 crewmen and officers on Kaliusa Reef in Tripoli harbor marked a national disaster for the young United States. The Bashaw (king of Tripoli), a wily and worthy adversary, would set his first ransom demand for the American slaves at $1,690,000, more than the entire military budget of the United States.

Navy officers like the fierce Captain John Rodgers would beg for the chance to attack Tripoli to avenge and free his comrades; diplomats such as Tobias Lear, a Harvard graduate, yearned for the glory of negotiating their release. But the man who would one day speed their freedom more than all others was a stubby disgraced former army officer...

Here's a quote by William Eaton (the stubby former army officer): "If the Congress do not consent that the government shall send a force into the Mediterranean to check the insolence of these scoundrels and to render the United States respectable, I hope they will resolve at their next session to wrest the quiver of arrows from the left talon of the American Eagle...and substitute a fiddle bow or a cigar in lieu."

Eaton also said, "Let my fellow-citizens be persuaded that there is no borne limit to the avarice of the Barbary princes; like the insatiable grave, they can never have enough. Consign them the revenues of the United States as the price of peace, they would still tax our labors for more veritable expressions of friendship. But it is a humiliating consideration to the industrious citizen, the sweat of whose brow supports him with bread, that a tithe from his hard earnings must go to the purchase of oil of roses to perfume the pirate's beard!

"It is true that Denmark and Sweden (and even the United States, following their example) gratuitously furnish almost all their materials for ship-building and munitions of war; besides the valuable jewels and large sums of money we are continually paying into their hands for their forbearance, and for the occasional ransom of captives...Without these resources they would soon sink under their own ignorance and want of means to become mischievous. Why this humiliation? Why furnish them the means to cut our own throats?"

After the crew of the Philadelphia was enslaved, the captives were hoping the U.S. government would pay their ransom and bring them home.

Everyone knew that ransom might take months or years, but they also knew that there existed a simple way for the men to become free immediately, and that was to convert to Islam. Less than three weeks into captivity, John Wilson, a quartermaster born in Sweden, decided to "turn Turk" (convert), as did Thomas Prince, a seventeen-year-old from Rhode Island. Three more Americans would follow them.

The officials of Tripoli, who encouraged and allowed the religious conversion, took the matter seriously. Since the Koran forbids Muslims from enslaving Muslims, a conversion meant freedom from slavery. As Ray put it, "Thomas Prince was metamorphosed from a Christian to a Turk." His choice word metamorphosed was quite apt. Not only did the ritual involve words of faith and promises to perform new rituals, but also a change of clothes and that inevitable loss of foreskin. While circumcision is not mentioned in the Koran (as it is in the Old Testament, Genesis 17:11), the rite became sanctified by Muslim theologians as far back as the seventh and eighth centuries.

The main story of the book is that William Eaton and seven U.S. Marines organized and led a group of thousands of enemies of the king of Tripoli and captured the second biggest city in the country, making the king willing to negotiate a treaty and return the captured Americans. A few years later, the American navy became powerful enough to put a permanent end to the Muslim capture of American ships in the Mediterranean.

The above (except what is in italics) was excerpted from the book, The Pirate Coast, by Richard Zack. Without ever saying it explicitly, these excerpts demonstrate that aggression toward Western nations in the name of Islam is not a modern phenomenon, and is not caused by recent grievances. Modern grievances used to justify violence are pretexts, used since Mohammad's time (read more about that here). The reason Thomas Jefferson knew this is because he read the Koran.  

If you would like to share the excerpts above, we've posted these same passages on Inquiry Into Islam (to make it easier to share). Use this link: Hundreds of Americans Were Captured and Enslaved


Rapport, Connection and Thanksgiving

In the United States, almost everyone is anticipating a Thanksgiving feast later this week. Most people will spend the day with their family. For many of us, our families have been the most difficult people to educate about Islam, and it is a painful fact that in many ways some of our own family members are "aiding and abetting" the enemy (without knowing it, of course).

Family get-togethers may seem like a good opportunity to make your case, but I caution you against it. First of all, talking politics in those circumstances can easily ruin the event for everyone. And an argument certainly will. Second, persuading someone in a group situation is much more difficult than one-on-one (unless most of the people there are on your side of the argument). And third, many of your fellow infidels will be drinking alcohol, and that doesn't help with good listening or clear thinking.

The family gathering can, however, help our cause. You can use the occasion to observe and gain rapport. I suggest you focus this Thanksgiving on one person. Who is the most likely to be persuaded who will be attending the feast? Who is the most undecided? Pick one person.

Now, during your family occasion, try to discover which representational system the person favors (click here if you don't know what that means).

And second, use your body to gain and maintain rapport throughout the day with everyone there, especially the person you picked (click here to find out how to do that). I suggest you do this at family gatherings of any kind.

These things will set you up beautifully for future one-on-one conversations with the person — conversations where you'll have a good chance of bringing them to a new understanding of Islam. In many ways, your task is mostly done as soon as you are in strong rapport. Sometimes taking your focus off convincing and persuading can make you more convincing and persuasive. Sometimes not approaching something directly improves your ability.

I have seen a demonstration that perfectly illustrates this principle. In fact, I've done the demonstration myself several times after seeing it in a seminar. Here's how it goes: I toss something to someone, and they miss it. And they say something like, "I'm terrible at catching." So I tell them I'm going to test something. "I'm going to toss you this ball," I say, "but this time don't try to catch it. Instead, I want you to tell me which way the ball is spinning." Then I toss the ball, and to their great surprise, they catch it easily.

How does this work? They take their attention off trying to catch the ball, and instead pay close attention to the ball itself, and their body responds naturally and easily and catches it.

In the same way, if you take your attention off making people believe you, and instead pay close attention to their favored representational system and pay close attention to their body posture and match it, you have a good chance of making them believe you — easily and naturally — without even trying.

These two missions I've given you for your family gathering are not time-consuming, difficult, upsetting, or conflict-creating. You can do these things and fully enjoy the day too. Have a happy Thanksgiving.


We Can Bankrupt the Global Jihad

After the "Arab Spring," Saudi Arabia gave its citizens a raise. Saudis citizens don't pay income taxes. Most of them don't even work. The Saudi government pays them, and to avoid the fate of the leaders in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere, the Saudis increased their citizens' pay and pensions. They committed future funds to these payoffs.

This has presented the counterjihad movement an opportunity to strike a decisive blow into the heart of the global jihad.

Jihadist projects are funded largely through Saudi Arabia and Iran, two OPEC nations. The Taliban is a Saudi oil-money project, for example. So is the Muslim Brotherhood and the OIC. Hezbollah is an Iranian oil-money project.

OPEC is a cartel formed of primarily Islamic countries. OPEC was founded for the purpose of raising world oil prices. Jihadist activities around the world have been on the rise because jihadist funding has been on the rise. The source of that funding is oil profits, which have been on the rise.

What keeps the whole thing functioning is oil's monopoly over the most important commodity on earth — transportation fuel.

In the 1980's, because the rising cost of oil, many new programs were started to create a freer fuel market. Brazil launched its ambitious ethanol program, many new ethanol distilleries were built in America, Roberta Nichols created a massive methanol experiment in California, etc. But in the mid-80's, OPEC flooded the world market with oil in order to drop world oil prices, which made all of these potentially-competitive fuels no longer competitive on price, which crashed Brazil's program, put half the U.S. ethanol facilities into bankruptcy, and prompted California to abandon its methanol experiment.

It was a classic monopolist move. It's the oldest trick in the monopolist's book: Drop your price to send the competition into bankruptcy.

Once their competitors were sufficiently crippled, OPEC started raising the world oil price again.

But competing fuels have recently begun to reappear. Brazil permanently changed to flex fuel vehicles (rather than ethanol-only vehicles) for example, which has protected them from OPEC's manipulations (when oil prices drop, drivers buy gasoline; when oil prices rise, drivers buy ethanol). Brazil's economy is booming.

In the United States there is a growing clamor to use methanol as a fuel, ideally in flex fuel vehicles. Methanol can be made inexpensively from America's abundant natural gas, and can be sold for half the cost of gasoline without any subsidies. If it was available as a fuel, people would buy methanol because it would save them a lot of money. But right now, it is not available as a fuel in the U.S. One bill now in Congress is trying to change that.

So let's say the bill passes into law and methanol becomes available, and people start using methanol for fuel. Gasoline would have to drop in price to compete, or it wouldn't sell. Everything would be wonderful. But...

Wouldn't OPEC just drop the world price of oil to crush this new competitor?

This is where things have changed in an important way. This is our new opportunity. Saudi Arabia controls what OPEC does. The Saudis are sitting on the easiest oil to produce in the world, and therefore theirs is the cheapest oil to produce. Because of this, they dictate what the rest of the OPEC nations will do. But if methanol becomes a fuel in America, Saudi Arabia (and the global jihad movement) will be between a rock and a hard place — and it could be the end of both OPEC and the third jihad.

If the Saudis decide to lower the world price of oil to make the U.S. lose interest in methanol, they would not make enough money to fulfill their commitments to pay off their subjects, who would probably rise up and throw the monarchy out. But if the Saudis keep the price of oil high, they would lose their income, because who would buy gasoline at $4.00 a gallon when methanol is available for half the price of an equivalent gallon? Not many.

Gal Luft, the co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, wrote:

Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, Saudi King Abdullah almost doubled his Kingdom's budget, committing billions in subsidies, pensions and pay raises in an effort to keep his subjects from storming the palaces.

This expensive response effectively raised the price of oil needed for the Saudis to balance their budget from under $70 a barrel before 2011 to at least $110 a barrel by 2015.

When oil is $100 a barrel, gasoline is about $3.50 to $4.00 a gallon. Methanol can sell at about $2.00 an equivalent gallon. Oil would have to be $50 a barrel to compete.

In other words, what happened in the 1980's can no longer happen. Saudi Arabia can no longer afford to drop the price of oil low enough to eliminate the competition. If we introduce vigorous fuel competition now in America, it will be the end of oil's monopoly for good, and funding for the global jihad would evaporate as Saudi Arabia and Iran would be forced to struggle to simply stay afloat.

This is an unprecedented opportunity. And you can help make it happen: If you are an American, join the fuel competition revolution. Go to and sign up for their updates and urge your Representative to co-sponsor the bill. If you are in any other country, let your fellow counterjihadists know about this bill and what it could mean for the world, and let everyone around the world urge Americans to pass this bill. The U.S. is the largest consumer of transportation fuel in the world. If fuel competition happens here, it will spread to other countries. And it will be the death knell of the third jihad.


It’s Time to Shock O.P.E.C.

The following important article is by Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy:

Forty years ago this week, America received a harsh lesson about the dangers of relying on others for energy. President Nixon’s decision in the midst of the Yom Kippur War to resupply Israel with U.S. weaponry gave members of the OPEC cartel an excuse to embargo oil supplies to this country and drive up prices worldwide. It became known as the “oil shock” of 1973.

Ever since, politicians of both parties have promised to reduce our dependency on unreliable foreign sources. To that end over the past four decades, they have invested untold sums on various schemes – from imposing price controls, producing synthetic fuels and subsidizing ethanol production, curbing demand and diversifying overseas sources of supply for oil and natural gas.

Thanks largely to private sector initiatives and funds, however, real progress has lately been made on this longstanding national objective. Finally, the widespread application of technology like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking) and a series of discoveries of vast quantities of natural gas around the United States and off its coasts have transformed our situation from one of energy dependency to potentially that of the largest energy exporter in the world.

The geopolitical and economic significance of this transformation will be the focus of conferences sponsored by two influential, bipartisan groups in Washington this week. Former Cabinet and sub-Cabinet officers, senior military personnel and other experts will convene on Tuesday under the auspices of the U.S. Energy Security Council and on Wednesday under that of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) to discuss the oil embargo, the intervening years and where we are today vis a vis those who used energy as an economic weapon against us in the past.

It is very much to be hoped that these conversations will not simply repeat nostrums about the inadvisability of being dependent upon unreliable – to say nothing of  actually hostile – energy sources. Or, worse yet, simply revel in the change of fortunes that will, in the absence of further Obama administration obstructionism, enable us to become again a huge net producer of energy. (Regrettably, between its pursuit of cap-and-trade restrictions on carbon emissions, overreaching EPA regulations, the campaign to destroy the coal industry and further shenanigans with respect to the Keystone XL pipeline, there is ample reason to expect more official impediments to our energy security, not fewer.)

What is needed now is a strategic approach to using our newfound energy leverage to cause some oil “shocks” of our own.

For starters, the windfall of natural gas deposits being found in this country opens up an opportunity to transform the sector in which we are still almost entirely dependent on oil and its byproducts: the transportation of people and goods via automobiles, buses and trucks.  If natural gas can become widely used in eighteen-wheelers and turned into methanol for use in most modern cars, we could dramatically reduce the amount of gasoline we are obliged to import from the Islamists of OPEC.

What is more, as Nobel laureate George Olah observed in an op.ed. article he co-authored in the Wall Street Journal last week, recent breakthroughs in chemistry are allowing another vast U.S. resource – carbon dioxide – to be cost-effectively converted into methanol. Far better to burn it in our automobiles and in modified surface transportation and maritime diesel engines than to pay exorbitant sums, as Team Obama has in mind, to try to store it underground.

Best of all, by enabling these alternatives to oil and gasoline to become available across America, we can create fuel choice for consumers – and competition for the cartelists. The predictable effect would be to drive oil prices down, especially as the scores of other developing nations capable of manufacturing their own alternatives to gasoline begin to do so, as Brazil has already done with ethanol.

The result could be to break the back of OPEC, once and for all. That, in turn, would help dry up the funding that has done so much for decades to power jihadism and undermine our economy.

This is no longer simply a desirable thing to do. It is absolutely imperative. As Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow Kevin Freeman has observed, Mideast oil producers seem determined to join the Chinese and Russians, among others, in terminating the U.S. dollar’s status as the world’s international reserve currency. Should they succeed in this gambit, the profound and debilitating economic and strategic ramifications will make the oil shock of forty years ago look like the good old days.

Adopting bipartisan Open Fuel Standard legislation and taking such other steps as are necessary to enable fuel choice can help us withstand as well disruptions in oil supply and/or skyrocketing price increases in the event of a new regional war in the Middle East. We can and must be in a position to deliver the next oil shock, not be its recipient.

Separating Kafirs from Muslims

The following was written by Bill Warner, Director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam:

When the al Shabaab jihadi group from Somalia attacked the mall in Kenya, they gathered the crowd together and asked who were Muslims and let them go. According to the media, they then started killing the non-Muslims who were left. But non-Muslims is not the word what the terrorists would have used. No, they would have called them Kafirs (actually they would have called them the Arabic plural of kafir, kuffar. Kafirs is the standard English plural form).

Why did members of al Shabaab do this? Why did they ask the Muslims to leave and keep the Kafirs and start killing them? Let’s start with the word terrorists. Members of al Shabaab are not terrorists, they are jihadists or mujahedeen. That is what they call themselves.

So what difference does it make which words we use? Non-Muslim or Kafir? Terrorists, militants, jihadists or mujahedeen? It makes all the difference in the world. You cannot think precisely with imprecise words and a Kafir is much more than a non-Muslim.

The word “non-Muslim” does not imply anything, except not being a believer in Islam.

Kafir, on the other hand, has enormous implications. Kafir is the actual word that the Koran uses for a non-Muslim. Indeed, one of the many remarkable things about the Koran is that over half of its text is devoted to the Kafir. Think about that: most of the Koran is not about how to be a Muslim, but about the Kafir. Every single verse about the Kafir is not just bad, but terrible. Allah hates Kafirs and plots and schemes against them. The cruelest punishments await the Kafir in hell, but who cares about that? The real problem is what is promised to the Kafir in this life — torture, hatred, death, ridicule, rape, enslavement, political domination and deception.

It is the same with mujahedeen or jihadist as opposed to militant or terrorist. The words militant or terrorist do not tell anything about the motivation of the militant or terrorist, only that they are using violence.

Notice that the words non-Muslim and terrorist are not related to each other; they stand alone. There is no implication of one by the other. But that is not true about Kafir and jihad. Jihad is only carried out against Kafirs. Jihad implies Kafir and vice versa.

Jihad and Kafir are all part of a system of Islamic politics. Mohammed preached the religion of Islam for 13 years and garnered 150 followers. When he turned to politics and jihad, he died ruler of all of Arabia, and every Arab was a Muslim. The religion of Islam was a failure, and Islam triumphed by the use of politics and jihad, war against the Kafir.

Islamic doctrine is found in the Koran, Sunna (Mohammed) and Sharia law and divides all of humanity into Muslim and Kafir. There is no middle ground. Unfortunately, both Christian and Jewish leaders have bought into the fiction that they are all People of the Book and are brothers in religion. When you read the fine print (as none of them have done, being professionally ignorant), they are brothers in Abraham who must be politically and religiously subjugated, but that is a small detail.

If jihad, mujahedeen, and Kafir are pure Islamic doctrine, we can now understand why the media refuses to the correct words that Muslims use — it is all too horrible to contemplate. We are not just having independent terrorist events, such as the West Gate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya or the Boston Marathon bombing; we are in the middle of a civilizational war with a historic enemy — an enemy who is winning because we are in total denial.

Published as an article on American Thinker.

Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
copyright (c) CBSX, LLC,
Use as needed, just give credit and do not edit.


Remembering 9/11 with Erick Stakelbeck

If you are anywhere near Tennessee, you are invited to an event you won't want to miss. Read more about it here. The event will take place on September 11, 2013 at the Embassy Suites in Cool Springs (the VIP event begins at 5:30pm and the General Event begins at 6:45pm).

The "Remembering 9/11" event will include the following speakers:

  • Erick Stakelbeck - Author of "The Brotherhood: America's Next Great Enemy" and "The Terrorist Next Door: How the Government is Deceiving You About the Islamist Threat"
  • Rabbi Jon Hausman - Ahavath Torah Congregation Rabbi in Stoughton, MA
  • Cathy Hinners - former Law Enforcement Officer and Activist
  • State Senator Bill Ketron
  • State Representative Judd Matheny
  • J. Lee Douglas - 9/12 Project Tennessee

VIP tickets for this event are currently sold out (though a waiting list is being compiled). There are still tickets left for the general event that will feature the bulk of the program. You can register for the event below:

General Event - Remembering 9/11
VIP Event - Remembering 9/11


You Are the Cure

On our Facebook page, someone wrote (I'm paraphrasing), "I'm not able to say how disgusted and angry orthodox Muslims make me feel. No words can convey it. I'm just hoping mankind can find a cure for this deadly social cancer."

That last sentence is a very common comment by people who have discovered the intolerance and hostility and calls to violence embedded in core Islamic doctrines. My answer to the commenter is a message I want to give to everyone:

YOU are the cure. When someone is running a scam on people, what's "the cure?" Can you track them all down and stop them? Not a chance. Can you eradicate scams once and for all? No, you can't. Can you "ban" scams? It wouldn't do any good. But you don't need to even try any of these things. You only need to blow the lid off the game.

Here's how we deal with scams: We share information when we find out about a scam, and then other people are wise to the scam and don't fall for it. That's all we need.

Orthodox Muslims are making inroads in the free world only because too many of us don't know the scam. Too many of us don't understand the true nature of Islamic doctrine. That's where YOU come in. We can't rely on the media. We sure as hell can't rely on politicians. That leaves personal relationships.

Reach people. If you are having trouble doing that, here is a handbook on the subject: Getting Through.