Back to Thomas Jefferson.
In 1786, Jefferson and John Adams met with Tripoli's ambassador to England and asked him by what right his nation attacked American ships and took Americans captive.
The ambassador claimed that the right was bestowed upon them by the laws of their prophet. It was written in the Koran, he maintained, that all nations who didn't acknowledge their (Muslim) authoritiy were sinners. It was not only their right but their duty to make war upon other nations and to enslave the captives.
Jefferson and Adams were more than disgusted. When Jefferson took office in 1801 as third president of the United States, the pasha of Tripoli sent him a note demanding $225,000 plus $25,000 a year for every year thereafter in return for the safety of American ships.
Jefferson told the pasha would he could do with his demands.