Obama: Islam Has Always Been Part of America
"Here's another fact, Islam has always been part of America. Starting in colonial times many of the slaves brought here from Africa were Muslim. And even in their bondage some kept their faith alive. A few even won their freedom and became known to many Americans. And when enshrining the freedom of religion in our constitution and our bill of rights our founders meant what they said when they said it applied to all religions. You know, back then muslims were often called mohamedtants. And Thomas Jefferson explained that the Virginia statute for religious freedom he wrote was designed to protect all faiths. And I'm quoting Thomas Jefferson now, the Jew and the gentile, the Christian and the mohamedtan. [ Applause ] Jefferson and John Adams had their own copies of the Koran. Benjamin Franklin wrote that even if the mufti of constant nope to us he would find a pulpit at his service."