Published on Huffington Post (April 20th, 2013)
George Washington’s birthday, celebrated annually on Febr. 22nd, is an opportunity to reflect upon his exemplary character and the example he set for future generations of Americans. While much is known about Washington’s military service and political career, less is known about his attitude towards religious freedom and his relationships with Muslims. Looking closely at his personal documents, letters, and activities, we can see that Washington was indeed a proponent of religious tolerance and a friend to the Muslims in his midst.
When Washington completed his second term as the first President of the United States of America, he retired to his estate at Mount Vernon, Virginia, where he spent the remainder of his life in the company of his slaves. We know from a 1784 letter to Tench Tighman, who inquired as to what type of workmen Washington wanted at Mount Vernon…
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