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Islamic Pirates

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Barbary Corsair
Somalian Islamic Pirates & Lessons from History
 
The dramatic rescue of the American cargo-ship captain Richard Phillips from the hands of Somalian Islamic pirates by the U.S. Navy—killing three pirates, holding him hostage at gun-point, through precision-targeting—warrants a review of the U.S. struggle with piracy and hostage-taking in North Africa, which ended two centuries ago.

Raiding trade-caravans and hostage-taking for extracting ransom in Islam was started by Prophet Muhammad. Having become powerful and secure after his relocation to Medina from Mecca in 622, Muhammad initiated Jihad or holy war in the form of raids of trade-caravans for earning livelihood for his community. In the first successful raid of a Meccan caravan at Nakhla in December 623, his brigands killed one of the attendants, took two of them captive, and acquired the caravan as “sacred” booty. The captives were ransomed to generate further revenue. Muhammad, later on, expanded this mode of Jihad to raiding non-Muslim communities around Arabia—for capturing their homes, properties and livestock, capturing their women and children as slaves often for ransoming and selling, and imposing extortional taxes—which sometimes involved mass-slaughter of the attacked victims.

 Barbary Ship

This ideal model of Jihad—initiated by Muhammad, whose actions are of eternal relevance and must be emulated by individual Muslims at all time—continued throughout the ages of Islamic domination. The Prophet’s attack of trade-caravans disrupting trades and taking hostage for ransoming or selling as slaves also remained in force until Western powers put an end to it in the 19th century.

Over three centuries starting in the 1530s, Barbary Islamic pirates—on the ground of their Jihadi right and patronized by Islamic regimes of Tripoli, Algiers and Morocco—kept attacking Western trade-ships in the Mediterranean water off North Africa. Thousands of ships were captured and plundered and their crews taken captive, who were sold as highly-priced slaves. Between one and one-and-a-half million white Westerners were enslaved between 1530s and 1820s. These captives, who generally suffered harrowing treatment and brutalities, were sometimes released by Europeans government by paying exorbitant ransoms, detailed in my book: Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery.

While Europeans, particularly the Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italians and the British became the worst victims, American ships started falling victim to corsair depredations beginning in 1646. American victims were negotiated by the British until 1776; after the independence, America had to handle the problem on her own. In 1784, Barbary corsairs in Morocco and Algiers captured three American ships and enslaved the crew. After protracted negotiations, a $60,000 ransom was paid to release the Moroccan hostages, while those, captured in Algeria, were not released but were sold into slavery.

ExasperatedWilliam Bainbridge by this dehumanizing activities and crippling disruption of trade, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams held a meeting with Tripoli’s Ambassador to London Abd al-Rahman in 1785. Ambassador al-Rahman demanded tribute for the protection of U.S. ships from attack and asked for his own commission, justifying the illegal acts as thus:

    “...it was written in the Quran that all Nations who should not have acknowledged their (Islamic) 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.”

Shocked and enraged, Jefferson sought to put an end to this barbaric practice for making the sea-ways secure for trade through military actions. In 1784, he had already proposed to Congressman James Monroe (U.S. President 1817–25):

    “Would it not be better to offer then an equal treaty? If they refuse, why not go to war with them… We ought to begin a naval power if we mean to carry on our own commerce.”

While on diplomatic duty in Paris, he unsuccessfully tried to build a coalition of American-European naval powers for military actions against Barbary piracy. But most politicians at home, even John Adams, opposed his idea. Adams, worried of losing a military confrontation with a doggedly warrior people, wrote in response to Jefferson’s “bold and wholly honorable” proposal that “We ought not to fight them at all unless we determine to fight them forever.”
 
Through the subsequent period, including Adam’s presidency (17947–1801), America settled for the payment of ignominious tribute to North African Islamic regimes, which gradually increased to as high as 10 percent of the national budget.

When Thomas Jefferson became the President in 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli, Yusuf Qaramanli, citing late payment of tribute declared war on the United States, seizing two American brigs, and demanded additional tributes. This followed demands for larger tributes from other BarbaryStates as well.

 

 
Stephen Dacatur
"Decatur Boarding the Tripolitan Gunboat", during the bombardment of Tripoli, 3 August 1804
Oil painting by Dennis Malone Carter, 43" x 59", depicting Lieutenant Stephen Decatur (lower right center) in mortal combat with the Tripolitan Captain.
 

Jefferson—always against the humiliating tribute payment and, undoubtedly, not forgotten his encounter with the Tripolian ambassador—sent forth a naval fleet to North Africa for military actions without informing the Congress. In retaliation, Tripoli declared war on the United States in May 1801 and Morocco the next year. America soon suffered a setback when Tripoli captured the U.S. frigate Philadelphia, but Edward Preble and Stephen Decatur soon mounted a heroic raid on the Tripolian harbor, destroying the captured ship and inflicting heavy damage on the city’s defences. This news created great excitement in the U.S. and Europe: a new power has arrived on the world-stage to stand up to the savage terror in North Africa. Nonetheless, the crisis remained unsolved.John Quincy Adams

Meanwhile, American consul to Tunis, William Eaton, defying disapproval at home, allied with Hamid—the exiled brother Tripolian pasha, offering him to make the  American nominee for Tripoli’s crown—for land-attack on Tripoli. In 1805, he made a daring journey with a small detachment of marines and a force of irregulars across the desert from Egypt to Tripoli and made a surprise attack on the garrison-city of Darna, which surrendered. While Eaton was engaging pasha’s forces, Jefferson and Karamanli reached a truce for ending the war. The terms of truce included the release of the Philadelphia crew upon payment of a tribute, but America would pay no more tributes in future. In this, stressed Jefferson, Eaton’s derring-do had played a part. Daring and uncompromising, Eaton denounced the deal as a sellout.
 
Exploiting the new Anglo-American hostility that started 1812, Algiers’ new pasha, Hajji Ali, demanding higher tribute, let the corsairs resumed attack on American ships. Once the Anglo-American war ended, President James Madison, with approval of the Congress, declared war on Algiers on 3 March 1815 and dispatched the battle-hardened naval force, again commanded by Stephen Decatur to North Africa, to put a complete end to the piracy problem.
 
The U.S. navy destroyed the fleets of reigning Dey Omar Pasha, filled his grand harbor with heavily armed American ships and took hundreds prisoner. The Dey capitulated and reluctantly accepted the treaty dictated by Decatur, pledging never to capture trade-ships and demand tribute. Decatur sailed to Tunis and Tripoli to force the rulers to signing of similar treaties.

President Madison’s words on this occasion, which inaugurated a new U.S. foreign policy paradigm, were: “It is a settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute; the United States, while they wish for war with no nation, will buy peace with none.”

Encouraged by the U.S. actions, European powers, led by Britain, initiated similar military actions soon afterward, while the French initiated a full-scale invasion of Morocco, not only to put a complete end to the disruption of trades by Jihadi Islamic corsairs, but also to free the degraded Christian subjects of North Africa.

The dramatic and successful rescue of Captain Phillips without paying ransom proves that the U.S. foreign policy, declared by President Madison two centuries ago, still holds.

However, there are increasing depredations of trade-ships by Somalian pirates in the busy Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean; that the French recently lost a hostage, owner of a seized yatch, in a rescue bid by commandos lately; and that the pirates have vowed to retaliate by especially targeting the U.S. and French ships. Indeed, they have hit back by cpaturing six more ships and made a failed attempt to capture another U.S. ship over the next two days. Moreover, the increasing payment of ransom by various governments in recent has obviously been emboldening these illegal activities. Hostage taking for extracting ransom by Jihadi groups is also increasing around the world.

Under these circumstances, a detailed review of the past European and American struggle against the same problem in North Africa lasting three centuries may be instructive for governments and international organizations in devising effective countermeasures to put an end to this unacceptable illegal and uncivilized activity.
 

 



MA Khan is the editor of Islam-watch.org and the author of Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 April 2009 01:11  

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Islam Kills

History - Articles

Lest We Forget the Battle of Tours

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History - Violent Jihad

Australians celebrate and revere Anzac Day on April 25th each year in remembrance of our brave soldiers who fought in two great world wars to secure our freedom. Every Australian identifies with the slogan “lest we forget” and in services held around the country people reflect on the battles and men who died to secure our freedom. Yet across the world in France, there is one remarkable battle which helped form the Europe we know today and allowed the development of civilization based on Judeo Christian principles. This one famous battle has become known as the battle of Tours and effectively stopped the Muslim advance into Europe. After the death of Mohammed in 632AD, Muslim armies exploded out of the Arabian peninsula to conquer much of the Middle East, expanding across north Africa. From there they crossed into Spain in 711AD and eventually controlled much of al-Andalus by 715AD. It was the victory at Tours by Charles Martel that stemmed the tide and eventually the Muslim marauders were expelled from Spain in 1492 when the last outpost at Granada fell to King Ferdinand of Spain. 

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Shivaji’s Coronation Laudatory Landmark

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History - Infidels' Resistance

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born, lived, fought and won battles against religious and social oppression in the 17th century Bharat or India. He was a shining star in the Indian firmament and is renowned as a champion of the downtrodden and depressed masses. He was and continues to be an icon for the classes and masses alike and is seen as a rallying point for peasants oppressed by foreign rulers, Pathans and Moghuls alike. Sexually exploited women found in Shivaji Raje a protector, a benefactor and flocked to his Hindavi Swaraj to find solace and feel liberated under his saffron flag. 

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Ransomer of Captives from the Muslims

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History - Tolerance Myths

Perhaps some readers might be interested to know that January 28 is considered a feast day among Catholics – actually 2 feast days are celebrated on the same day – one is of ST Thomas Aquinas, the great medieval theologian and philosopher who adapted Aristotle to the western Judeo-Christian worldview. . It is also the feast day of a lesser known person – St Peter Nolasco, the great ransomer of captives from the Muslims.

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Islamic Pirates

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History - Violent Jihad

Barbary Corsair
Somalian Islamic Pirates & Lessons from History
 
The dramatic rescue of the American cargo-ship captain Richard Phillips from the hands of Somalian Islamic pirates by the U.S. Navy—killing three pirates, holding him hostage at gun-point, through precision-targeting—warrants a review of the U.S. struggle with piracy and hostage-taking in North Africa, which ended two centuries ago.

Raiding trade-caravans and hostage-taking for extracting ransom in Islam was started by Prophet Muhammad. Having become powerful and secure after his relocation to Medina from Mecca in 622, Muhammad initiated Jihad or holy war in the form of raids of trade-caravans for earning livelihood for his community. In the first successful raid of a Meccan caravan at Nakhla in December 623, his brigands killed one of the attendants, took two of them captive, and acquired the caravan as “sacred” booty. The captives were ransomed to generate further revenue. Muhammad, later on, expanded this mode of Jihad to raiding non-Muslim communities around Arabia—for capturing their homes, properties and livestock, capturing their women and children as slaves often for ransoming and selling, and imposing extortional taxes—which sometimes involved mass-slaughter of the attacked victims.

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The Battle of Broken Hill

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Battle of Broken Hill Logo
 
The First Islamic Terrorist Attack on Australian Soil
 
On January 1, 1915 two Broken Hill men, both former camel drivers, armed themselves with rifles, an homemade flag bearing Islamic insignia and a large supply of ammunition and launched a surprise attack on the Picnic Train about 3 kilometres outside Broken Hill.

The train carried about 1200 Broken Hill residents to Silverton where a picnic to celebrate the new year was to take place.

The two Muslim men, Gool Mohamed originally a Pashtun tribesman from Afghanistan and Mullah Abdullah from what is known today as Pakistan, decided to wage jihad against Australian infidels after Australia and the Ottoman Empire officially joined the opposite sides in the WWI.

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Jihad Galore

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History - Tolerance Myths

Jihad Galore and the Toledo Whore

Battle of Higueruela

Alhambra - GazelleHow often in conversation with a Muslim, do they quote Spain as the crowning achievement of Islam, where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in harmony for about 800 years?

And when you mention the killings and massacres, you are told that the Spanish Inquisition was much worse.
This is a misconception, since the Inquisition in Spain was responsible for only between 4,000 and 5,000 lives. [1]

Yet in 1066AD, in a single day, muslims murdered over 4,000 Jews because Vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela had risen to a position greater than them, and of course, this upset the Muslim sensitivities. [2]

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Arabs Hated The Quran

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History - Stolen Heritage

 
How the Arabs Hated The Quran
 
Old Quran

Wh y are you a Muslim?
Musli ms in general love to hear the above question because it has a simple and readymade answer in their minds besides it gives them the opp or t u nity to propagate their religion and talk proudly about Islam.

 

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Lepanto Anniversary

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History - Imperialism

Decisive Victory for the West

At this time of year, it is timely to remember one of the greatest victories of the west against the Islamic world. On the 7th October in 1571, Don Juan and the Holy League, led by Admiral Doria, defeated the larger Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto, saving Europe from the Turks and militant Islam. The Holy League was a coalition of different armies - of the Republic of Venice, the Papacy (under Pope Pius V), Spain (including Naples, Sicily and Sardinia), the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights Hospitaller and some others.

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Muslim Jerusalem

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History - Stolen Heritage

Jerusalem - Coat of ArmsWhy do Muslims insist that Jerusalem is their Holy City?
When Mohamed and his faithful followers moved from Mecca to Medina, they found themselves among three Jewish tribes/clans (BANU-L-NADIR, BANU KAINUKA and BANU KURAIZA)  which settled there some time after their expulsion from their homeland and also living there were  two Arab, pagan tribes.

Mohammed, who at this stage needed more followers, decided to win those tribes over and convert them to his newly invented religion.

Islam was yet not as fully developed as we know it today, and Mohammed was still having his sessions with Allah (the Medina period revelations).

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Killing of Banu Quraiza

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History - Imperialism

Did Prophet Muhammad order Killing Surrendered Jews of Banu Quraiza and Khaybar?  A historical Analysis

In the post 9/11 era of this modern-world, Islamists around the globe are busy with ‘damage control utopia’ in order to correct the image of religion Islam. We all know that the nucleus of Islam are: Quran, Hadiths (Sunnah) supported by Islamic histories and biographies recorded by various famous Islamic scholars and historians.

What Mecca?

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History - Early History

A great tragedy of the Islamic control of our universities and political correctness plus the fear of extreme violence if anyone dares question the roots and claims of Islam is ...that nobody dares question the roots and claims of Islam!!!  I want to stimulate interest and offer this summary of information on Mecca from (LINK) which discusses some problems with Muslim claims in a comparison of evidence supporting Islam/Christianity. 

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Yahweh or Hubal

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FlagThere is a very strongly entrenched view among majority of Westerners today that the three main monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam share one common God and therefore despite the obvious differences, the core foundation of these three religions is the same. 

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