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Reagan compared the Mujahidin (later Al-queda) to the Founding Fathers

FALSE

Updated: 2008/02/22 PM 12:46:25   Comment

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No Original Source Can Be Found

Many sources claim that Ronald Reagan said that the Mujahidin in Afghanistan (that later evolved into Al-queda) were the "moral equivalent to the Founding Fathers". 

"In 1985, President Ronald Reagan received a group of bearded men. These bearded men I was writing about in those days in The New Yorker. They were very ferocious-looking bearded men with turbans looking like they came from another century. President Reagan received them in the White House. After receiving them he spoke to the press. He pointed towards them, I’m sure some of you will recall that moment, and said, “These are the moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers”. These were the Afghan Mujahiddin. They were at the time, guns in hand, battling the Evil Empire. They were the moral equivalent of our founding fathers!" 

Cullen Murphy also reported the same information in “The Gold Standard: The quest for the Holy Grail of equivalence,” Atlantic Monthly, January 2002 http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/200201/murphy

It has also been reported in the Asia Times.



Reagan Did Say This About the Contras

This statement has been accepted by so many most likely because Reagan definitely could have said it.  He did meet with the Mujahidin and supported them the same way he supported the Contras in Nicaragua.  But it appears this particular quote was actually referring to the Contras, not the Mujahidin:

New York Times:

"In a speech here in March 1985, Mr. Reagan said the Nicaraguan insurgents were ''the moral equal of our Founding Fathers.'' He repeated the comparison in September 1987, when he said that the contras had formed a democratic resistance against tyranny ''in the best tradition of our Founding Fathers.''



President Reagan meets with Contra leaders in the Oval Office.
Oliver North is at far right. When this photo was officially released
North's image was cut out.

Sources:


1. TERRORISM: THEIRS AND OURS  By: Eqbal Ahmad
2.
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/200201/murphy
3. Asia Times
4. New York Times



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