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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

John Quincy Adams saw beginning of long conflict between Islam and the West in Greek battle for independence from Ottoman Turks in 1820s. Europe wasn't interested in Greek struggle against Islamist Turk rule but finally decided to help after Russia stepped in to do so in 1827 (fearing Russia would be successful)-Samuelson, Claremont, Dec. 2002

Dec. 2002 article

12/5/2002, "John Quincy Adams on the War We Are In,", Richard Samuelson

"If you saw the movie "Amistad," you may think of John Quincy Adams as the genial, idealistic old lawyer Anthony Hopkins played. In fact, Adams was one of the most profound statesmen America ever produced. Adams served one term as president, and had a long career in Congress, but his greatest successes came in diplomacy and foreign policy.

Long before Samuel Huntington, Adams understood our modern "clash of civilizations." Adams believed that history had set the liberal West on a collision course with the Islamic East. In Adams's day, as in ours, many sophisticated Europeans thought that the two civilizations ought to compromise their differences in the name of peace. Unfortunately, Adams found, compromise was not always possible. As then [1820-1830] constituted, Islamic civilization would not accept Western notions of liberty, equality
, and progress, and for that reason the West had to fight to defend both its principles and its interests.

Adams observed the first chapter of this conflict in the 1820s, when the Greeks revolted against their Turkish masters. Embracing the ideals that inspired the Americans in 1776, the Greeks asserted their right to assume an equal station among the nations of the earth. Most European statesmen, still smarting from the French Revolution and the wars that came with it, were indifferent if not hostile to the Greek cause. The Ottoman Empire, which extended deep into the Balkans (controlling all or most of modern-day Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania) was an important part of the European balance of power, and they were loath to see it weakened. That young Romantics like Byron fought and died on behalf of the Greeks only reinforced their belief that serious statesmen must be on the other side. Adams disagreed. Greece was important in itself, but it also carried immense symbolic weight as "the birth-place of moral philosophy, and of high souled freedom." Moreover, Adams realized that the Greek independence movement was the first battle in what would be a long conflict between Islam and the West.

After reflecting upon the conflict, Adams grew concerned that it was serious and feared that almost none of his contemporaries understood it. He thought the matter was of such importance that he wrote a lengthy essay on the subject shortly after he left the presidency in 1829. In this essay, which has become so obscure that even many Adams specialists don't know about it, Adams set the conflict between the Greeks and the Ottoman masters in the context of the larger course of history. He described the origins of the conflict between Islam and the West, and discussed what was at stake in the conflict.

According to Adams, the key element of the renewed conflict between Islam and the West was that liberalism, the dominant idea in the West, did not even exist in Islamic lands. The reason why the new conflict between Europeans and Muslims was different than previous conflicts was that the modern West's liberty brought with it the technological and social capabilities that made global communication and commerce possible. Modern Western man, Adams declared in an essay he wrote in 1822, "stimulated by all the wants, and aided by all the energies of civilization, proceeds from art to science, and heaps invention upon discovery, till [ships] . . . bear the productions of every habitable spot upon the globe to every other." Technological progress shrank the world, making the isolation of Islam from the West impossible to maintain.

Modern technology put Western Europe in a position to dominate Islamic lands. Whereas Christians and Muslims had once been closely matched on the field of battle, it had ceased to be a fair fight. "In the brutal and foul contest of arms, the man of Mahomet was no longer a match for the Christian man." Adams noted that, with the help of modern weaponry, "a company of London merchants, under the patronage, though with little aid, of their government, [has] subdued in the far more distant regions of Hindustan...millions of the disciples of Mahomet." Moreover, the desire for increased trade meant that the West could not stand aside. It would penetrate Islamic lands; the only question was what would the effects be, and what could the West do to make them as peaceful as possible.

Europe's indifference to the fate of the Greeks [in early 1800s] shocked Adams, just as Europe's moral obtuseness in the Middle East shocks many of us today. Adams criticized "the more than stoical apathy with which they regard the cause, for which the Greeks are contending; the more than epicurean indifference with which they witness the martyrdom of a whole people, perishing in the recovery of their religion and liberty." Adams complained that Metternich and other European leaders thought too narrowly about the war, "seeing in the Greeks only revolted subjects against a lawful sovereign." Much more was at stake, Adams claimed. Europe's statesmen misunderstood the conflict between Greece and the Ottomans because they thought that Islam was a religion like all the others they knew: they expected Muslims to compromise their beliefs in the interest of peace.

Adams feared that Western statesmen failed to appreciate the Christian roots and context of liberalism. In America and increasingly in Europe, religious freedom had found fertile soil in the Christian notion that religion is primarily about belief and only secondarily about action. Hence, people could be left free to think whatever they wanted so long as they submitted peacefully to the laws. Islam is different; it is fundamentally about law, not about belief. The wish of Islam is that the whole world follow the Law of the Koran. Finding a genuine idea of toleration in a religion that is about law and wants to be universal would not be easy, Adams argued. 

The Ottomans understood the fundamental nature of their conflict with the West better than did the statesmen in London and Paris. Adams quoted the Sultan as saying: "this is not like former contests, a political war for provinces and frontiers. "This war must be considered purely a religious war and a national war." The Sultan called for all Muslims to fight the infidels wherever they found them because the West and Islam had squared off in a battle for domination and survival. Adams feared the Sultan was correct. "In comparison with these considerations [about the great conflict between Islam and the West]," he wrote, "the question of the operation of these events upon the balance of power in Europe is but the dust of that balance."...

Russia came to the Greeks' aid; and fearing Russian success in 1827, France and Great Britain joined the czar in helping to defeat the Turks. Eventually the great powers recognized a small, independent Greek state.

In Adams's day, unlike our own, the U.S. had little power to influence events so far from home. While he was Secretary of State in the early 1820s, Adams had campaigned against even token American support for the Greeks. Adams was the architect of the Monroe Doctrine, warning Europe to stay out of the Americas, and indicating in return that the U.S. would stay out of Europe. In light of that policy, America could hardly take an active role in a European conflict. But Adams did not think the same rules would apply forever....

Though Adams thought America in his day should stay out of international struggles beyond the Western Hemisphere, he didn't think that would always be the case....As the nation grew politically, economically, and geographically, its role in the world would necessarily change.

As the liberal West squared off against the Islamic East, Adams realized that the key question
was not whether the modern West would fundamentally alter Islamic civilization, but how it would do so. A century and three quarters later, the question still stands."...


Added: More on John Quincy Adams:

"The Adams Presidency,"

"John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States, served from March 4, 1825 to March 4, 1829."
"During his tenure as Secretary of State, Adams was the chief designer of the Monroe Doctrine. He had witnessed the Barbary Wars against the Islamic pirates of North Africa and the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Turks. Adams accepted that the Greek fight for independence from the Turks was only the beginning of a long conflict between Islam and the West. Although he sympathized with the Greeks and held a deep mistrust of the defeated Muslims, he was reluctant to support America's involvement in continuing wars far from home."


Added: Samuelson (Claremont, top) states John Quincy Adams wrote a "lengthy essay" on Islam in 1829,  that it was "obscure" and unknown to many Adams specialists. Samuelson didn't provide a link or other source for the writings.

Adams' writings about Islam may be little known because they were "Unsigned," per Andrew Bostom, citing a 1993 biography: "Unsigned essays dealing with the Russo-Turkish War, and on Greece written while JQA was in retirement, before his election to Congress in 1830." The "unsigned" writings apparently exist today in The American Annual Register, still unsigned. Via Amazon, I attempted to search the 1993 biography, page 41 for the citation Bostom provides, but page 41 wasn't included online. I bought the kindle but the pages weren't numbered, and I ran out of time trying to find the reference. Writings about Islam within 1829 essays about Russo-Turkish wars and Greece are frequently cited on the internet as having been authored by Adams, but without a link or substantiation to that effect that I've found so far. Bostom's citation of the 1993 biography, p. 41, is the closest I've seen substantiating that JQ Adams authored the writings in question. Posted below, Bostom details Adams' writings about Islam in his 1829 essay series. It's worth mentioning that Adams contrasts Christian attitudes with Islam's attitudes but not for evangelical reasons. Rather, for life and death reasons. By 1829 he'd had considerable experience in the world, had been Sec. of State for 8 years, president for 4, and had traveled a good deal. He knew about Barbary Wars, Greek struggles for freedom, and what it's like to sign a treaty with a Muslim leader (pp 274-5, 276, 298). He observed that Christianity and the American way of life are open to other religions and ways of life but the same cannot be said of Islam. He notes its degrading treatment of women and its allowance of polygamy (p. 269). He knew about jizya: The vanquished may purchase their lives." (pp 274-275). In 1829 Adams seemed to believe the west won't survive unless it defeats Islam globally: "A war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant…While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.” [p. 269]

Sept. 2004 Bostom article details Adams' writing about Islam

9/29/2004, "John Quincy Adams Knew Jihad," by: Andrew G. Bostom, 

"(Historian) Bemis’ landmark 1949 review (of John Quincy Adams) also included a vague footnote referring to a work  which I located formally in a comprehensive annotated bibliography of John Quincy Adams’ writings, compiled by Lynn H. Parsons2: [2. Parsons, Lynn H. John Quincy Adams- A Bibliography, Westport, CT, 1993, p. 41, entry # 194.]

"Unsigned essays dealing with the Russo-Turkish War, and on Greece written while JQA was in retirement, before his election to Congress in 1830” [Chapters X-XIV (pp. 267-402) in The American Annual Register for 1827-28-29. New York, 1830.]"

A brief contribution appeared in the Claremont Review in December 2002, purporting to summarize the contents of John Quincy Adams’ 136 pages of analysis (although, curiously, never providing the citation, above, for the original essays). Upon reading Adams’ full set of essays, however, it is apparent that this rather uninformed, sanitized Claremont Review piece missed the mark widely.

John Quincy Adams possessed a remarkably clear, uncompromised understanding of the permanent Islamic institutions of jihad war and dhimmitude. Regarding jihad, Adams states in his essay series,  
“…he [Muhammad] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankindThe precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God." 

Confirming Adams’ assessment, the late Muslim scholar, Professor Majid Khadduri, wrote the following in his authoritative 1955 treatise on jihad, War and Peace in the Law of Islam : 

“Thus the jihad may be regarded as Islam’s instrument for carrying out its ultimate objective by turning all people into believers, if not in the prophethood of Muhammad (as in the case of the dhimmis), at least in the belief of God. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have declared ‘some of my people will continue to fight victoriously for the sake of the truth until the last one of them will combat the anti-Christ’. Until that moment is reached the jihad, in one form or another will remain as a permanent obligation upon the entire Muslim community. It follows that the existence of a dar al-harb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; that the dar al-Islam permanently under jihad obligation until the dar al-harb is reduced to non-existence; and that any community accepting certain disabilities- must submit to Islamic rule and reside in the dar al-Islam or be bound as clients to the Muslim community. The universality of Islam, in its all embracing creed, is imposed on the believers as a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political if not strictly military.3 
And Adams captured the essential condition imposed upon the non-Muslim dhimmi “tributaries” subjugated by jihad, with this laconic statement,

The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute.” 
Indeed, the famous Shafi’i jurist of Baghdad, al-Mawardi (d. 1058), highlights the most salient aspect of the consensus view of classical Islamic jurisprudence regarding the vanquished non-Muslims “tribute”, i.e., the   jizya: the critical connection between jihad and payment of the jizya. He notes that “The enemy makes a payment in return for peace and reconciliation.” Al-Mawardi then distinguishes two cases: (I) Payment is made immediately and is treated like booty, however “it does, however, not prevent a jihad being carried out against them in the future.”. (II). Payment is made yearly and will “constitute an ongoing tribute by which their security is established.” Reconciliation and security last as long as the payment is made. If the payment ceases, then the jihad resumes. A treaty of reconciliation may be renewable, but must not exceed 10 years.4 The nature of such “protection”, i.e., a blood ransom, is reinforced in this definition of jizya written by E.W. Lane, based on a careful analysis of the etymology of the term:
The tax that is taken from the free non-Muslim subjects of a Muslim government whereby they ratify the compact that assures them protection, as though it were compensation for not being slain5 
Adams’ staunch anti-imperialism, one of the “fourteen fundamentals” of U.S. foreign policy which Samuel Flagg Bemis states, “…we may connect with the name of John Quincy Adams more than with that of any other man” 6, is consistent with Old Man Eloquent’s support for the struggle of the Greeks 7 to liberate themselves from the yoke of centuries of dhimmitude, imposed by the imperialism of Ottoman jihad8. At minimum, in light of the global war on jihad terrorism, John Quincy Adams’ candid, timeless ruminations should be required reading for all contemporary U.S. diplomats and politicians. 
Key annotated excerpts from John Quincy Adams’ remarkable series of essays, are provided below.

Adams on Jesus Christ and Christianity, Relative to Muhammad and Islam [pp. 267, 268, 269]

"And he [Jesus] declared, that the enjoyment of felicity in the world hereafter, would be reward of the practice of benevolence here. His whole law was resolvable into the precept of love; peace on earth – good will toward man, was the early object of his mission; and the authoritative demonstration of the immortality of man, was that, which constituted the more than earthly tribute of glory to God in the highest…The first conquest of the religion of Jesus, was over the unsocial passions of his disciples.  It elevated the standard of the human character in the scale of existence…On the Christian system of morals, man is an immortal spirit, confined for a short space of time, in an earthly tabernacle.  Kindness to his fellow mortals embraces the whole compass of his duties upon earth, and the whole promise of happiness to his spirit hereafter.  THE ESSENCE OF THIS DOCTRINE IS, TO EXALT THE SPIRITUAL OVER THE BRUTAL PART OF HIS NATURE." (Adam's capital letters)….[pp. 267-268]

In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of  Hagar [i.e., Muhammad],  the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth.  

Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion.  He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind.  THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST:  TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE (Adam's capital letters)….Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant…While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.” [p. 269]

They [The Russians] have been from time immemorial, in a state of almost perpetual war with the Tatars, and with their successors, the Ottoman conquerors of Constantinople.  It were an idle waste of time to trace the causes of each renewal of hostilities, during a succession of several centuries.  The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God.  The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective.  The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.  Of Mahometan good faith, we have had memorable examples ourselves.  When our gallant [Stephen] Decatur ref had chastised the pirate of Algiers, till he was ready to renounce his claim of tribute from the United States, he signed a treaty to that effect: but the treaty was drawn up in the Arabic language, as well as in our own; and our negotiators, unacquainted with the language of the Koran, signed the copies of the treaty, in both languages, not imagining that there was any difference between them.  Within a year the Dey demands, under penalty of the renewal of the war, an indemnity in money for the frigate taken by Decatur; our Consul demands the foundation of this pretension; and the Arabic copy of the treaty, signed by himself is produced, with an article stipulating the indemnity, foisted into it, in direct opposition to the treaty as it had been concluded.  The arrival of Chauncey, with a squadron before Algiers, silenced the fraudulent claim of the Dey, and he signed a new treaty in which it was abandoned; but he disdained to conceal his intentions; my power, said he, has been wrested from my hands; draw ye the treaty at your pleasure, and I will sign it; but beware of the moment, when I shall recover my power, for with that moment, your treaty shall be waste paper.  He avowed what they always practised, and would without scruple have practised himself. Such is the spirit, which governs the hearts of men, to whom treachery and violence are taught as principles of religion.” [p. 274-275]

“Had it been possible for a sincere and honest peace to be maintained between the Osmanli and his christian neighbors, then would have been the time to establish it in good faith.  But the treaty was no sooner made than broken.  It never was carried into effect by the Turkish government.” [p. 276]

“From the time when the disaster of Navarino ref had been made known to him, the Reis Effendi [Ottoman diplomat assigned to Russia] had assumed the tone of the aggrieved party, and made formal demands of indemnity, and the punishment of the offending admirals.  He still manifested however, a solicitude to prevent the rupture of the negotiations by the departure of the ambassadors…” [p. 298]

“Upon the departure of the ambassadors, the Sultan, who must have been, however, unwillingly preparing his mind for that event, immediately determined upon two things; a war with Russia alone – and a dallying attempt to protract the negotiation, and gain time of preparation for the conflict.” [p. 298]"...

“If ever insurrection was holy in the eyes of God, such was that of the Greeks against their Mahometan oppressors.  Yet for six long years, they were suffered to be overwhelmed by the whole mass of the Ottoman power; cheered only by the sympathies of all the civilized world, but without a finger raised to sustain or relieve them by the Christian governments of Europe; while the sword of extermination, instinct with the spirit of the Koran, was passing in merciless horror over the classical regions of Greece, the birth-place of philosophy, of poetry, of eloquence, of all the arts that embellish, and all the sciences that dignify the human character.  The monarchs of Austria, of France, and England, inflexibly persisted in seeing in the Greeks, only revolted subjects against a lawful sovereign.  The ferocious Turk eagerly seized upon this absurd concession, and while sweeping with his besom of destruction over the Grecian provinces, answered every insinuation of interest in behalf of that suffering people, by assertions of the unqualified rights of sovereignty, and by triumphantly retorting upon the legitimates of Europe, the consequences naturally flowing from their own perverted maxims.” [p. 278]

“This pretended discovery of a plot between Russia and the Greeks, is introduced, to preface an exulting reference to the unhallowed butchery of the Greek Patriarch and Priests, on Easter day of 1822, at Constantinople, and to the merciless desolation of Greece, which it calls ‘doing justice by the sword’ to a great number of rebels of the Morea, of Negropont, of Acarnania, Missolonghi, Athens, and other parts 10 of the continent.The document acknowledges, that although during several years, considerable forces, both naval and military, had been sent against the Greeks, they had not succeeded in suppressing the insurrection.”  [p. 301]"


Added: Pope Benedict XVI view of Islam:

Sept. 2006 article: Pope Benedict XVI served as Pope from 2005 to 2013. In a 1997 interview he said of Islam: "One has to have a clear understanding that it is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.”... 
9/20/2006, "Tough-talking pope has history with Muslims, refuses to give in," Washington Times (unattributed)

"Known for his toughness on matters of Catholic doctrine, Pope Benedict XVI gives no quarter when it comes to questions about Islam. 

Unlike his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, Benedict has never drawn flak for saying that Muslims and Christians pray to the same God or been accused of waffling on whether Christianity is superior to the religion of prophet Muhammad....
Still, “challenging Islam is not Benedict’s priority, says David Gibson, author of the just-released book “The Rule of Benedict.” “He doesn’t want to see this as a debate between equals. There’s no theological parity between the two. He’s not there to compromise on that. 

One of the reasons he was elected last year was the cardinals felt he’d be much more confrontational with Islam. Benedict has voiced real doubts about Islam’s ability to reform itself.” 

Benedict has studied Islam extensively and, in a 1997 interview with German journalist Peter Seewald, dealt generously with the religion. 

“There is a noble Islam, embodied, for example, by the King of Morocco, and there is also the extremist, terrorist Islam, which, again, one must not identify with Islam as a whole, which would do it an injustice,” the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said. 

Still, he added, Islam does not fit in with Western civilization.

“Islam has a total organization of life that is completely different from ours; it embraces simply everything,” he said. “There is a very marked subordination of woman to man; there is a very tightly knit criminal law, indeed, a law regulating all areas of life, that is opposed to our modern ideas about society. One has to have a clear understanding that it is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.” 

He has refused to alter his conviction that Islam’s propensity to live by the power of the sword must be moderated

“Certainly, it has elements that favor peace, as it has other elements,” he told Italian journalists in July 2005. “We always have to seek to find the best elements that help.”...

In March [2006], the pope summoned 179 cardinals to Rome to discuss Islam, said John L. Allen Jr., author of “The Rise of Benedict XVI.” At issue was increasing persecution of Christians in Islamic countries, he said in an interview.

“He feels that if we have dialogue, we need to talk about things,” Mr. Allen said of the pope, “and not just be nice to each other. 

When he said on Sunday that he wants a ‘frank and sincere dialogue,’ he meant that we have to put actual issues on the table.
“The great challenge is if he can find the vocabulary to raise these issues. And can he find a conversation partner? Are there credible forces within Islam who can engage in a discussion based on reason?”"


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