Christopher Hitchens piece at Townhall today reminds me that not much has changed since Jefferson went to war against Muslim pirates in the Barbary Wars; America is still having problems with a global population of Muslims (the Islamists) with radically different viewsthan our own of peace, tolerance, norms of a civilized society, and how nations should interact with one another fairly (although there are those who argue that the conflict between Americans and the Barbary pirates was not a holy war between Islam and Christianity, rather the wars concerned trade and were in actuality an extension of America's War of Independence; this view ignores facts that point to it involving religious and trade issues). In referring to Linda Colley's excellent book Captives, which shows the reaction of the English and American publics to a slave trade of which they were victims rather than perpetrators, he writes: How many know that perhaps 1.5 million Europeans and Americans were enslaved in Islamic North Africa between 1530 and 1780? We dimly recall that Miguel de Cervantes was briefly in
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Slavery in the United States, Miguel de Cervantes, Barbary Wars