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Posted: 12/13/2001 10:12:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2001 10:15:47 AM EDT by nightstalker]
Not according to those who cite this Treaty and especially Article 11. The "rest of the story" is interesting to say the least. ñTreaty of Peace and Friendship, signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796, . . . and at Algiers January 3, 1797, . . . . Original in Arabic. Submitted [in English] to the Senate May 29, 1797. (Message of May 26, 1797.) Resolution of advice and consent June 7, 1797. Ratified by the United States June 10, 1797. . . . Proclaimed June 10, 1797î (p. 349). ñTreaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbaryî (p. 364). ñArticle 11. [b]As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,[/b]--as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,--and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countriesî (p. 365). ñThus the proclamation [June 10, 1797] was immediate with the ratification and did not await any such formality as notice to the Bey of Tripoli of the ratification of the treaty by the United States. The treaty . . . had been bought; and, as much of the purchase price had already been paid, any subsequent item of procedure was doubtless considered to be of comparatively little importance. ñNote Regarding the Barlow Translation. The translation is that of Barlow as written in the original treaty book, including not only the twelve articles of the treaty proper, but also the receiptî (p. 383). ñThe Barlow translation is at best a poor attempt at a paraphrase or summary of the sense of the Arabic . . . . Most extraordinary (and wholly unexplained) is the fact that Article 11 of [b]the Barlow translation, with its famous phrase, ïthe government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,Í does not exist at all [in the Arabic].[/b] There is no Article 11 [in the Arabic]. The Arabic text which is between Articles 10 and 12 is in form a letter, crude and flamboyant and withal quite unimportant, from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha of Tripoli. How that script came to be written and to be regarded, as in the Barlow translation, as Article 11 of the treaty as there written, is a mystery and seemingly must remain so. Nothing in the diplomatic correspondence of the time throws any light whatever on the point. ñA further and perhaps equal mystery is the fact that since 1797 the Barlow translation has been trustfully and universally accepted as the just equivalent of the Arabic. Its text was not only formally proclaimed as such but has been continuously printed and reprinted as such . . . . The Italian translation of the Arabic text . . . presents its own linguistic difficulties . . . it is none the less in essence a reasonable translation of the Arabic. Indeed, allowing for the crudeness of the original Arabic and the changes which always result from a retranslation, it may be said . . . that [b]the Barlow translation . . . was ïextremely erroneousÍ; but nothing indicating that the Italian translation was even consulted has been found, and it does not appear that it was ever before 1930 put into Englishî[/b] (p. 384). [url]www.sunnetworks.net/~ggarman/tripoli.html[/url]
Link Posted: 12/13/2001 11:54:14 AM EDT
Even if article 11 is valid, it proves nothing. Those who would use it to "prove" that the United States was not founded as a Christian nation don't generally even bother to read the statement and understand its meaning. "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion AS IT HAS IN ITSELF NO CHARACTER IF ENMITY AGAINST THE...MUSSELMEN (muslims)". To me, that is easily understood to mean that the government of the United States is not hostile towards the muslims because of any religious belief. Let's not forget the reason why America went to war with the Barbary Pirates. THEY started it, not us. It had nothing to do with religion.
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