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In other words, as we noted back in March, the White House is lying. Worse, they are rewriting American history to fit their Islamic agenda. Jihad Watch exposes the lie in, Obama spreads false claim that Thomas Jefferson hosted first Ramadan iftar dinner at White House
The State Department retails the PC myth in this article, “Thomas Jefferson’s Iftar,” July 29. Nor is this the first time this falsehood has gone around: the State announcement quotes Barack Obama saying last year: “Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been a part of America. The first Muslim ambassador to the United States, from Tunisia, was hosted by President Jefferson, who arranged a sunset dinner for his guest because it was Ramadan — making it the first known iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago.”
Longtime Jihad Watch writer Hugh Fitzgerald busted this myth in his piece “Barack Obama, The New York Times, that Iftar Dinner, and the rewriting of history,” which was first published here at Jihad Watch on August 26, 2010. Here it is again:
Barack Obama, The New York Times, that Iftar Dinner, and the rewriting of history
by Hugh Fitzgerald
“The first Muslim ambassador to the United States, from Tunisia, was hosted by President Jefferson, who arranged a sunset dinner for his guest because it was Ramadan — making it the first known iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago.” — Barack Obama, speaking on August 14, 2010, at the “Annual Iftar Dinner” at the White House
Really? Is that what happened? Was there a “first known iftar at the White House” given by none other than President Thomas Jefferson for the “first Muslim ambassador to the United States”? That’s what Barack Obama and his dutiful speechwriters told the Muslims in attendance at the 2010 “Annual Iftar Dinner,” knowing full well that the remarks would be published for all to see. Apparently Obama, and those who wrote this speech for him, and others who vetted it, find nothing wrong with attempting to convince Americans, as part of their policy of trying to win Muslim hearts and Muslim minds, that American history itself can be rewritten. A little insidious nunc pro tunc backdating, to rewrite American history. And that rewrite of American history has the goal of convincing Americans, in order to please Muslims, that the United States and Islam, that Americans and Muslims, go way back.
During the six solar months Mellimelli was here, the lunar month of Ramadan occurred. And as it happens, during that Ramadan observed by Mellimelli, but naturally unobserved, hardly noticed, by the Americans, President Jefferson invited Sidi Soliman Mellimelli for dinner at the White House. He probably during that six-month period had done it more than once. Mellimelli replied that he could not come at the appointed hour of three thirty in the afternoon (our ancestors rose much earlier, and ate much earlier, and went to bed much earlier, in the pre-Edison days of their existence). That time fell, for him, but not for Thomas Jefferson or anyone else in the United States of America, during the fasting period of the month of Ramadan. He replied that he could not come at the hour set, that is, at half-past three, but only after sundown.
Jefferson, a courteous man, simply moved the dinner forward by a few hours. He didn’t change the menu, he didn’t change anything else. And moving the dinner forward by a few hours hardly turns that dinner into a soi-disant “Iftar Dinner.” Barack Obama’s trying to do so, trying that is, to rewrite American history, with some nunc-pro-tunc backdating, in order to flatter or please his Muslim guests, is false. And, being false, is also disgusting. It is disgusting for an American President to misrepresent American history to Americans, including all the schoolchildren who are now being subject to all kinds of Islamic propaganda, cunningly woven into the newly-mandated textbooks, that so favorably misrepresent Islam, as here.
Now there is a kind of coda to this dismal tale, and it is provided by the New York Times, which likes to put on airs and think of itself as “the newspaper of record,” whatever that means. The Times carried a front-page story on August 14, 2010, written by one Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and no doubt gone over by many vigilant editors. This story contains a predictably glowing account of Barack Obama’s remarks at the “Annual Iftar Dinner.” Here is the paragraph that caught my eye:
In hosting the iftar, Mr. Obama was following a White House tradition that, while sporadic, dates to Thomas Jefferson, who held a sunset dinner for the first Muslim ambassador to the United States. President George W. Bush hosted iftars annually.
Question for Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and for her editors at The New York Times: You report that there is a “White Hosue tradition that, while sporadic, dates to Thomas Jefferson.” I claim that you are wrong. I claim that there is no White House Tradition at all about Iftar Dinners. I claim that Thomas Jefferson, in moving forward by a few hours a dinner that changed in no other respect, for Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, was not providing the first of the “Annual Iftar Dinners” that, the New York Times tells us, has since Jefferson’s non-existent “Iftar Dinner,” have been observed “sporadically.”
When, then, was the next in this long, but “sporadic” series of iftar dinners? I can find no record of any, for roughly the next two hundred years, until we come to the fall of the year 2001, that is, just after the deadliest attack on American civilians ever recorded, an attack carried out by a novemdectet of Muslims acting according to their understanding of the very same texts — Qur’an,Hadith, Sira — that all Muslims read, an understanding that many have demonstrated since that they share, not least in the spontaneous celebrations that were immediately held in Cairo, and Riyadh, and Jeddah, and in Ramallah, and Gaza, and Damascus, and Baghdad, and all over the place, where Muslims felt that they had won a victory over those accursed kuffar, those ingrates, those Infidels. And it was President George Bush who decided that, to win Muslim “trust” or to end Muslim “mistrust” — I forget which — so that we could, non-Muslim and Muslim, collaborate on defeating those “violent extremists” who had “hijacked a great religion,” started this sporadic ball unsporadically rolling. And he did it, by golly, he did. He hosted an Iftar Dinner with all the fixins. It was held just the month after the attacks prompted by Islamic texts and tenets and attitudes on the World Trade Center, on the Pentagon, on a plane’s doomed pilots and passengers over a field in Pennsylvania.
And thus it is, that ever since 2001, we have had iftar dinner after iftar dinner. But it was not Jefferson or any other of our cultivated and learned Presidents, who started this “tradition” that has been observed only “sporadically” — i.e., never — until George Bush came along, unless we are to count as an “iftar dinner” what was merely seen, by Jefferson, as a dinner given at a time convenient for his not-too-honored guest.