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Ted Widmer: The True History of the Koran in America

October 13th · No Comments · Islam, Muslim, Quran

“As usual, the Founders were way ahead of us. They thought hard about how to build a country of many different faiths. And to advance that vision to the fullest, they read the Koran, and studied Islam with a calm intelligence that today’s over-hyped Americans can only begin to imagine. They knew something that we do not. To a remarkable degree, the Koran is not alien to American history — but inside it.”

Ted Widmer, The True History of the Koran in America

In 1806, Qurans printed in Springfield, Mass. In 1663, a Quran in a Germantown, Pa. newcomer’s library. Thanks my friend Jill for sharing this, written by the Beatrice and Julio Mario Santo Domingo director and librarian of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. I found it at the Boston Globe, and Loonwatch. Check out the informative WBUR Radio interview. According to this additional bio:

From 1997 to 2001 (Widmer) worked in the Clinton White House as a foreign policy speechwriter. He is the author of Ark of the Liberties: America and the World, and the editor of the Library of America’s two-volume set, American Speeches, and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other publications. He received his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

There are some weaknesses from a scholarly Muslim eye. For example, the PBS documentary A Prince Among Slaves offers perspective on Islam here among countless Africans and their descendants (see here and here).

But good work.

— C.B. Hanif

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