This article was first published in the Huffington Post – Religion
It is possible that Washington’s friendship with Muslims is a result of his adherence to the rational principles of Deism, which emphasize a belief in God and not necessarily a belief in religion. Others might argue that it is his Christian faith that encouraged Washington to refrain from religious disputes. While we cannot be certain as to the reasons why Washington entered so graciously into friendships with Muslims, one could argue with credence that Washington saw no room for bigotry and religious persecution in the United States of America. Though Americans have not always followed the example put forth by Washington, a close reflection upon his life and his friendships with Muslims may help to reinvigorate Washington’s legacy, renew the pluralist vision put forth by the founding fathers, and establish the United States of America as the exceptional country it was destined to be.