Erdogan: Muslims Discovered America Before Columbus

220px-Recep_Tayyip_Erdogan220px-Christopher_ColumbusTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan appears to have the same fluid understanding of history as he does civil rights. Erdogan became the latest — and certainly highest ranking — person to proliferate the myth that Columbus not only found that Muslims had discovered the New World before him but that there was an actual mosque left on a mountain in Cuba to greet the explorer.

Erdogan is repeating a myth among some Muslim scholars that has been discredited repeatedly and is based on a clearly false reading of the diary kept by Columbus. The claim was made in a widely ridiculed 1996 paper from Youssef Mroueh of the As-Sunnah Foundation of America. Mroueh wrote that “Columbus admitted in his papers that on Monday, October 21, 1492 CE while his ship was sailing near Gibara on the north-east coast of Cuba, he saw a mosque on top of a beautiful mountain.” It is a bizarrely false reading of a clear metaphor used by the explorer in a log of Columbus’ first journey in 1492. Tt was made on October 29, 1492 and recorded by colonization historian Bartholome de Casas: “Remarking on the position of the river and port, to which he gave the name of San Salvador, he describes its mountains as lofty and beautiful, like the Pena de las Enamoradas, and one of them has another little hill on its summit, like a graceful mosque.” “Like a graceful mosque” was taken as literal while such a structure would have prompted considerable attention and action from the Christian explorers if it was a literal observation. There is no evidence to support the claim.

Nevertheless, the myth has grown in Muslim circles and led Erdogan to tell an audience of Latin American Muslim leaders summit in Istanbul (people with more than a passing knowledge of such subjects) that “The religion of Islam was widespread before Columbus. Muslim sailors had arrived in the shores of America in 1178. In his diaries, Christopher Columbus referred to the presence of a mosque on top of a mountain in Cuba.”

The myth shows the danger of academics who strive to validate or advance their own religion in history. Islam has an amazing history of scholarship, inventions, and exploration. However, there has been growing effort to prove that it was Muslims who first discovered and colonized the New World. Whatever the truth of such accounts (and there could have been such explorers), the use of the Cuban myth discredits anyone seeking to establish such a connection. Some scholars have even claimed that words like “Seminole” comes from the Turkish ‘Sami nal’ or “Semites who ran away.”

No archeological evidence has been found to support such claims. Erdogan went further in his speech to compare the role of Christianity and Islam — arguing that Christians forced people to convert and killed those who did not. He insisted that “Converting people by force, by the sword, has never been a part of Islam. Our religion has never been a tool of exploitation.” I assume that he is not speaking of the widespread use of apostasy and blasphemy abuses in Islamic countries or such radical groups as Islamic State. However, he is certainly more accurate in describing the abuses of early Christian explorers than he is the discovery of Columbus in Cuba.

Source: BBC

66 thoughts on “Erdogan: Muslims Discovered America Before Columbus”

  1. Squeeky – the writer/director for the series obviously is a fan of the author. He stayed very true to the written word.

    But you can’t convey much internal dialogue on film.

    You would probably really enjoy the books.

    Now I need to go make a call on my phone complete with historically-accurate-Fraser-Clan-Tartan-cellphone-cover with the motto “Je Suis Prest.”

  2. Anyone who wants to read an action/adventure/steamy romance book written by a woman should try the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. (I am a Super Fan, literally.)

    There is a big difference when a man writes a character he thinks women wants, and when a woman writes one she knows they would.

    Excellent research, accurate medical perspective (she was a marine biologist), and captivating writing. The books weigh like 3 pounds, and when you’re done, you think they weren’t long enough.

    She left all of us fans hanging for 3 YEARS with a plot hanger until the last book came out, so we’re a hardy lot.

    Just came out on Starz as a series.

    1. Karen S – Just for you female fans out there. Anne Rice wrote some erotica under a different pen name. But if you google her name and erotica you can get the titles of the books.

      Squeeky – you should woman up and buy you own copy, don’t steal your mom’s porn.

  3. Paul – Valentino could stand today as a heartthrob. I saw “The Shiek” many years ago – will have to watch it again, now. I think Clint Walker had the best voice in Hollywood, though.

  4. @PaulCS

    That was way before my time. All I know is, for a young girl who is just becoming sexually aware, The Savage Sands is definitely NOT the book she should be reading. To make it even worse, I snuck a copy of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by somebody(???) from my father thinking it was like a teenage fantasy thingie. OH was I ever wrong! It is a wonder that I am not just totally warped or something.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. happypappies – artists can be male or female for the cover art. There is a formulistic style that they use. Like I said, the cover denotes the heat of material inside. I would think that our demo borders on porn.

  5. @happypappies

    My mother was in a book club and she used to get a couple of these romance novels every month. After I read The Savage Sands (whew!), I quit teasing her about them. Plus, I never told her that I snuck it to read because it would have embarrassed her, and probably got me in trouble.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky, back in the ’60s I had a gf whose mother would complain about the sex and language in the books she was reading but she read every word. 🙂 Never put the book down. Cannot remember who the author was, he was pretty trashy as a writer.

    1. happypappies – if you did not read the Mandingo series, very hot in the early ’60s, you would understand the Lance Horner references.

  6. Uh, I just opened that link lol. I am too old for such things. eww. Plantation love lolol

  7. Okay I am now officially on a tear. swinging swag sword of the 24 carat golden stud. – created by Lance the well, that is really something. Who thought that up – a woman or a man???? I gotta know.

    1. happypappies – most romance novels are official written by women, although unofficially a significant number of men make a tidy living writing romances. Titles are usually the publishing company’s final say.

      1. Paul C. Schulte you are a font of information. what else are you a font of? I am just full of descriptive adjectives today to help you out. Who draws those pictures with the women simpering in front of those tall brave men? Those hard hard men 🙂

  8. That’s Larry Flynt – I just saw his daughter died in a car wreck on Oct 24 this year – suffered from seizures – no operators license – probable cause – alcohol inebriation
    Flynt vigil

  9. OMG, “Sword of the Golden Stud” is really the title???!! I thought that was someone’s pet name for their twig and berries. Great. Now I can’t get that name out of my head.

    1. Karen – Sword of the Golden Stud is a great porn title I would think. BTW, The Shiek is Rudolph Valentino’s greatest hit. Still holds up pretty well. Better for women than men.

    2. [Karen S

      OMG, “Sword of the Golden Stud” is really the title???!! I thought that was someone’s pet name for their twig and berries. Great. Now I can’t get that name out of my head.]

      The title seems to have double entendre!

    1. All this stuff was caught in my Spam for 3 days and is now coming back out lol 🙂 Squeeks is that an alliterative tool like – the Short Sword of the In like Larry Flynn Stud – no ??? That’s just downright insulting and mixed up lolol

  10. @Karen S

    Well, i learned all about Arabs from a romance novel I snuck from my mother when I was a teenager called “The Savage Sands”(???) Anyway, I decided then and there that I ain’t never going to the Mid East, especially on a boat.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – you would have been on the next boat if you had watched “The Shiek”

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