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Barbary: Islamic Terrorism and America’s First Military Victory

Barbary: Islamic Terrorism and America’s First Military Victory

Date Published: 
Monday, 18 June, 2018
Summary: 

Many Americans erroneously trace the roots of Islamic terrorism against their nation to September 11, 2001.  In reality, the United States’ very first conflict with Muslim terrorists was also its very first war as nationand it won that war 213 years ago today, on June 10, 1805.

Centuries before that, the Barbary States of Muslim North Africa—specifically Tripoli, Algiers, Tunis—had been thriving on the slave trade of Europeans abducted from virtually every corner of coastal Europe—including Britain, Ireland, Denmark, and Iceland.  These raids were so successful that, “between 1530 and 1780 there were almost certainly a million and quite possibly as many as a million and a quarter white, European Christians enslaved by the Muslims of the Barbary Coast,” to quote American historian, Robert Davis.