Quote from Treaty of Tripoli, 1796 

"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 Musselmen, and as
the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility
against any Mehomitan 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."

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ARTICLE XI of the Treaty of Tripoli, 1796, signed in the last part of Washington's presidency, ratified under John Adams. Written in Algiers and signed at Tripoli on Nov. 4, 1796, and at Algiers on Jan. 3, 1797, by Hassan Bashaw, dey or bey of Algiers, and Joel Barlow (1754-1812), U.S. Consul to Algiers. The original is in Arabic, and the English text was translated by Joel Barlow. Both texts were submitted to the U.S. Senate on May 29, 1797, and the treaty was ratified and proclaimed in Philadelphia on June 10, 1797. George Washington was president when the treaty was signed at Tripoli, but by the time it reached the Senate for ratification, John Adams was president and presented it to the Senate. Joel Barlow was co-author with Moslem officials of this treaty and sole author of Article XI which contains the non-Christian statement. Interestingly, there is no Article XI in the original Arabic, and in its place is a crude letter of no importance from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha of Tripoli. This discrepancy remains a mystery to this day. http://www.ffrf.org/fttoday/june_july97/tripoli.html
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