Yesterday, historians Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein celebrated James Madison’s birthday by remembering the President’s prescient anti-Islamaphobia as a balm for our times.
But don’t forgot this wonderful nugget of early American anti-Islamophobic history—Article II of the the Treaty of Tripoli, submitted to the Senate by President John Adams and ratified in 1797:
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 of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan 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 countries.
Ah, our treaties. So well-intentioned. So quickly forgotten.