You’ve probably never heard of Founding Fathers named Gamal bin Washington and Thamar Jefferson, and neither has Barack Obama. But this didn’t stop him from making the claim that “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.”
While speaking in the White House’s South Court Auditorium during a conference on “countering violent extremism” last week, Obama said that we need to “stay true to the values that define us” and “show that we welcome people of all faiths.” The president then made the following claim:
Here in America, Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding. Generations of Muslim immigrants came here and went to work as farmers and merchants and factory workers, helped to lay railroads and build up America. The first Islamic center in New York City was founded in the 1890s. America’s first mosque [founded in 1929] — this was an interesting fact — was in North Dakota.
Of course, both these events occurred long after our country’s founding; in fact, 1890 was the year of the 11th U.S. census, which led to official recognition that there was no longer even a Western frontier in the nation. And there were no sheikhs or mullahs at the Constitutional Convention more than a century before.
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