American Vision offers this excellent 30 page PDF entitled America’s 200-Year-War With Islamic Terrorism (PDF). In it, author Gary DeMar discusses the conflict of the early 1800’s with the Barbary Coast Pirates (Muslims), and explains many misunderstandings around the phrase in the Treaty of Tripoli, which states:
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
Many have mistaken this for a denial of our Christian heritage, history, and ideological roots, and have also misattributed it to George Washington. However, as DeMar quotes from Boller’s They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions:
The statement was not Washington’s, and diplomats had used that particular phraseology because they were eager to make it clear that Christianity was not an American state religion, and that therefore the U.S. government bore no official hostility toward Islam.