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In the course of his reading, he isolates three matrices, which shed complimentary light on evangelical attitudes to Islam: political events and constraints, the prophetic or eschatological biblical interpretations, and concerns related to Christian mission in relation to Muslims.Colonial Americans had no idea that many of the slaves on their shores were actually Muslims.
Mainline Protestants and some evangelicals, along with the U. Conference of Catholic Bishops all praised the president’s approach, though not his 2003 war on Iraq.Naturally, feelings only intensified when the new American republic’s ships faced attacks in the Mediterranean, making it feel both vulnerable and rather impotent militarily. frigate Philadelphia was captured two years later by the Tripolitans, who thus enslaved three hundred more Americans.Algerian ships commandeered two ships in 1785 and eleven more in 1793. in 1801 and President Thomas Jefferson announced a blockade against it. The Americans managed to free them a couple of years later at minimal cost, but then in 1815 a new war broke out with the State of Algiers.By holding up Islam as a plain case of religious forgery, he hoped to defend Christianity’s integrity.From the start he anticipates accusations of demonizing Islam, but he promises to “approach Islam judiciously.”[vi] That said, he had little first hand knowledge, and what he did think he knew was often wrong.There is no doubt that the attacks of September 2001 brought Islam into sharp focus for many Americans for the first time, and Protestant evangelicals in particular.But just as Muslim-Christian relations have a long history, from peaceful interactions to violent confrontations, so American Protestants were writing about and discussing Muslims and Islam before the nation was founded.During this period, as Kidd notes, “Anglo-Americans typically used categories from Islam as rhetorical tools to discredit opponents, or as players in eschatological speculation.”.Additionally, within the social ferment of pre-revolutionary America, “Polemicists often used Islam and its states as the world’s worst examples of tyranny and oppression, the very traits that the revolutionaries meant to fight.”[ix] For example, John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon immensely popular (1723) highlighted the curbing of the press and muzzling of public speech as routinely practiced by Islamic states.Benjamin Franklin’s character , for instance, asks at one point, “Is it worse to follow Mahomet than the devil?” His readers automatically assumed that both were just as bad.