According to Denise A Spellberg, author of Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an, Thomas Jefferson not only owned a Quran but had the foresight to believe that Muslims would be future citizens of America and thus, went about defending these rights.
“At a time when most Americans were uninformed, misinformed, or simply afraid of Islam, Thomas Jefferson imagined Muslims as future citizens of his new nation. His engagement with the faith began with the purchase of a Qur’an eleven years before he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson’s Qur’an survives still in the Library of Congress, serving as a symbol of his and early America’s complex relationship with Islam and its adherents. That relationship remains of signal importance to this day.”
Ms. Spellberg further breaks it down for you in this super informative op-ed for Salon.