It IS About Islam: Exposing the Truth About ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate
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eBookNews.SimonandSchuster.com To Bonhoeffer, King, Lincoln, and all those who were
brave enough to stand up to evil and risk losing everything
to speak the truth and save another man’s life.
And to those giants who will stand again this time and
cast a new shadow of righteousness.
All lives matter.
Dallas, 2015 C ONT E NT S
Introduction: Jefferson’s Quran
PART ONE: Islam 101
1: Islam and End Times
2: From Revelation to Empire
3: Wahhabism and Salafism
4: Reestablishing the Caliphate
PART TWO: Thirteen Deadly Lies
Introduction to Part Two
Lie #1: “Islam is a religion of peace, and Islamic
terrorists aren’t really Muslims.”
Lie #2: “Islam is not much different than
Christianity or Judaism.”
Lie #3: “Jihad is a peaceful, internal struggle, not
a war against infidels.”
Lie #4: “Muslims don’t actually seek to live under
sharia, let alone impose it on others; there are so
many different interpretations of it anyway.” Lie #5: “America is safe from sharia law.”
Lie #6: “The Caliphate is a fanciful dream.”
Lie #7: “Islam is tolerant toward non-Muslims.”
Lie #8: “Addressing frustration, poverty, and
joblessness in the Muslim world—maybe even
climate change—will end terrorism.”
Lie #9: “Critics of Islam are bigots.”
Lie #10: “Islam respects the rights of women.”
Lie #11: “Iran can be trusted with a nuclear
Lie #12: “The Muslim Brotherhood is a moderate,
mainstream Islamic group.”
Lie #13: “Islam respects freedom of speech.”
PART THREE: What Can Be Done
About Glenn Beck
Notes I NT RODU C T I ON
ne block from the U.S. Capitol sits the Library of
Congress. Housing more than 160 million books, manuscripts,
photographs, recordings, and maps, it’s the largest library in
the world. If you put its bookshelves together in a single line,
they would extend 838 miles.
ue062e current collection owes its start to one of America’s
greatest Founding Fathers. Aue09der the Library of Congress was
burned to the ground by the British during the War of 1812,
ue062omas Jeﬀerson, then in retirement at Monticello, oﬀered
once more to be of service to his young nation. Jeﬀerson, who
owned the nation’s largest private collection of books—6,500
at the time—oﬀered the entire lot to the newly rebuilt library
“for whatever price found appropriate.”
Jeﬀerson was a voracious reader and a distinguished
intellect. Along with hundreds of books that matched his
varied interests was a well-worn two-volume set that he
believed offered his nation a warning.
Jeﬀerson had bought these volumes, bound in leather and
(cid:277)lled with yellowed pages that crackled when you turned them, forty years earlier when he’d been a young red-haired law
student in Williamsburg. By then he’d already developed a
reputation as a passionate debater in the service of justice—
even if it meant challenging the laws of the Crown. In 1765, the
young rabble-rouser had become known for his strident
opposition to Parliament’s passage of the Stamp Act, the latest
in a series of unjust taxes imposed by the British on the
colonies without representation.
As a student of the law, Jeﬀerson was curious about laws of
many kinds, including those that had a voice in exotic lands or
claimed to carry the word of God. ue062at is why, when he
wandered into the oﬃces of the Virginia Gazette, the local
newspaper that doubled as a bookstore, one day in October
1765, Jeﬀerson found the two-volume set so tantalizing.
Printed in London by a British lawyer named George Sale, the
books were one of the (cid:277)rst English translations of the Quran.
Aue09der paying sixteen shillings, ue062omas Jeﬀerson held in his
hands the holy book of Islam. He kept them among his
possessions for the following four decades.
When I (cid:277)rst heard that one of our nation’s Founding
Fathers owned one of America’s earliest copies of the Quran, I
endeavored to do some research on it. I was curious as to why
Jeﬀerson, a man famously curious and cosmopolitan, but also
skeptical of organized religion, had it in his possession.
We don’t know exactly how closely ue062omas Jeﬀerson read
the Quran he owned. We do know that he is the only Founding
Father to have a basic understanding of Arabic. We do know
that he promoted and championed the creation of an Oriental languages department at his alma mater, the College of
William & Mary. And we do know that he would be the (cid:277)rst
American president to go to war with Islamic radicals.
It is clear, however, that Jeﬀerson was, to put it mildly,
suspicious of Islam. He compared the faith with Catholicism,
and believed that neither had undergone a reformation. Both
religions, he felt, suppressed rational thought and persecuted
skeptics. When combined with the power of the state, religion
would corrupt and sti(cid:280)e individual rights. Islam, to Jeﬀerson’s
mind, provided a cautionary tale of what happened when a
faith insisted on combining religious and political power into
As a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Jeﬀerson
cited Islam as an example for why Virginia should not have an
oﬃcial religion. A state religion, he argued, would quash “free
enquiry,” as he recorded in his notes at the time. He knew Islam
held little tolerance for other faiths.
But Jeﬀerson was neither a bigot nor an Islamophobe. ue062e
irony of Jeﬀerson’s observations about Islam is that they were
made in service of an argument that would ensure that
Muslims—along with Jews, Christians, atheists, and adherents
of every other faith—would have full citizenship as Virginians,
and ultimately, as Americans.
ue062e landmark legislation Jeﬀerson championed, “A Bill for
Establishing Religious Freedom,” which served as a model for
the United States Constitution a decade later, ensured that
there was no oﬃcial religion of state. Between 1776 and 1779,
Jeﬀerson draue09ded more than one hundred pieces of legislation,
but he was most proud of number 82, which is referenced on his gravestone as “the Statute of Virginia for religious
freedom.” ue062e (cid:277)ercely controversial bill disestablished
Christianity as the official religion of his state.
Jeﬀerson’s legislation was nothing short of revolutionary, a
(cid:277)rst in the history of the world: absolute freedom of religious
conscience and permanent separation of church and state. And
as evidenced by his copious notes, Jeﬀerson’s knowledge of the
Quran and Islam had shaped his views of the importance of
protecting religious liberty.
Jeﬀerson believed that everyone should have the right to
worship, or not to worship, as they choose. It was,
unfortunately, not a view shared by the Muslims he eventually
In March 1786, aue09der America had won its independence,
Jeﬀerson was serving as minister to France, shuttling between
European capitals to secure commercial agreements. One of
the thorniest challenges he had to confront was the growing
power of the Barbary States, four North African territories
that sponsored marauding pirates who were increasingly
con(cid:277)scating thousands of dollars in American shipping and
enslaving hundreds of U.S. citizens in prisons across the
In London, Jeﬀerson and his fellow diplomat John Adams
met with the ambassador from the pasha of Tripoli, a man
named Abdul Rahman, to resolve the growing dispute. The war
that existed between his nation and America, the ambassador
explained, “was founded on the Laws of their Prophet.” ue062e
capture of U.S. ships and people was a just and holy war,
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