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No, Thomas Jefferson was NOT the First President to Hold an ‘Iftar Dinner’

June 29, 2016 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Founders, Government Corruption, History, Islam, Koran, Liberals, PCism, President, Progressives, Religion, Society/Culture, Thomas Jefferson, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


No, Thomas Jefferson was NOT the First President to Hold an ‘Iftar Dinner’

-By Warner Todd Huston

Every year he’s been in office, President Obama has hosted an “Iftar dinner” to honor Islam in the White House. Except for the last two years, the President has also led his speech with the outlandish nonsense that in 1805 Thomas Jefferson held the “first Iftar dinner” in the White House. And every time it’s been utter hogwash.

For the 2012 Iftar dinner celebration, for instance, Obama said the following:

As I’ve noted before, Thomas Jefferson once held a sunset dinner here with an envoy from Tunisia — perhaps the first Iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago. And some of you, as you arrived tonight, may have seen our special display, courtesy of our friends at the Library of Congress — the Koran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. And that’s a reminder, along with the generations of patriotic Muslims in America, that Islam — like so many faiths — is part of our national story.

The reference to Jefferson’s so-called Iftar dinner in the 2012 speech was at least a step closer to reality than in the past when he was less equivocal. In 2010, for instance, Obama said straight out Jefferson’s was the first Iftar dinner.

Tonight, we are reminded that Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity. And Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America. The first Muslim ambassador to the United States, from Tunisia, was hosted by President Jefferson, who arranged a sunset dinner for his guest because it was Ramadan—making it the first known Iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago.

But the fact is Jefferson’s dinner is neither a sure thing nor a “perhaps.” President Thomas Jefferson simply did not hold any Iftar dinner in the White House, nor did he intend to honor Islam that day. To claim that the very first president to authorize war against “the Musselmen””–as he called Muslims–would have hosted a dinner to honor Islam is an absurdity of the first order.

So, what did occur? Well, that “Iftar dinner” that Jefferson supposedly hosted was in no way meant as an observance of an Islamic holiday or practice. Now, it is a fact that Jefferson invited Mr. Sidi Soliman Melli Melli, the diplomatic envoy from the Bey of Tunis, to the White House for dinner. But Jefferson was told that the envoy was fasting and observing his religious tenets at the time and could not attend at the appointed time.

As it happens, Jefferson usually ate dinner at 3:30 PM, as did most Washingtonians at the time (remember, without electric lights the evening came a lot sooner than it does today). But when Jefferson was told that the envoy couldn’t attend a dinner until after sunset, being a good host, our third president merely pushed the dinner back and invited the envoy to dinner at a time after his religious observation ended.

That is all he did. Jefferson had no intention at all of hosting any Iftar dinner. Despite the fact, President Obama has often promulgated the phony claim that Jefferson “perhaps” hosted an Iftar diner. Thomas Jefferson certainly hosted a dinner, but a dinner was all he intended. He never intended to ladle any religious meaning onto the repast.

It is also interesting to note that the Koran Obama has often pointed out that Jefferson had in his vast collection of books was a translation by an Englishman named George Sale. Sale’s 1734 edition of the Koran was one of its earliest translations into English. But as far as observant Muslims are concerned, this book does not qualify as a Koran because it was not written by an Arabic and is not an authorized translation!

In any case, President Obama has misled Americans and America’s Muslims, now, for years. Until modern times, there has never been an Iftar dinner at the White House. Further, there is no long tradition of Muslims having an impact in America. The only real impact that Islam has had on America occurred on September 11, 2001. It is an impact that reverberates still today.

So, if you see some media source or government lackey proudly promulgating the false story that Thomas Jefferson held the first Iftar diner, let them know that they are full of crap.
____________
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing news, opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that wrote articles on U.S. history for several American history magazines. Huston is a featured writer for Andrew Breitbart’s Breitbart News, and he appears on such sites as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, Federalist Papers, and many, many others. Huston has also appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and many local TV shows as well as numerous talk radio shows throughout the country.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.


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