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Who in Islam recognized this treaty?

Reader comment on item: In 1796, U.S. Vowed Friendliness With Islam

Submitted by Pat (United States), Nov 7, 2006 at 17:50

The US may have had no feelings of enmity toward the Mahomedan nation, but this was a treaty between two distinct countries, not between the US and all of Islam. Would other leaders of the Ottoman Empire have felt bound by it? What about Persia? Did any of them recognize it? The US government, alive and well in 2006, is the only signatory that still exists. The Ottoman Empire crumbled long ago and new states were created. Why would any of them feel bound by a treaty signed by an entity that no longer exists?

How can it be said that the radical Islam we are fighting today didn't even exist in 1796? Abdul-Wahhab was born in 1691, more than a century earlier. He spread his brand of Islam across Arabia. He instituted the practice of giving to soldiers a letter addressed to the Treasurer of Paradise and hung it around the soldier's neck. The soldier was promised that death in battle meant that his soul would go straight to heaven without being examined first by angels. Surely this is a direct connection to the martyrdom practiced by many Muslims today. The brand of Islam we are fighting today may not have been as widespread and Americans might not have come into contact with it, but it definitely existed. Would Wahhabists or Shia of 1796 even have recognized this treaty?

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