Erdogan says Muslims discovered Americas
Turkish leader says Muslims, not Christopher Columbus, discovered
continent in 1178, offering to build a mosque in Cuba.
Last updated: 15 Nov 2014 20:00
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the Americas were
discovered by Muslims in the 12th century, nearly three centuries before
Christopher Columbus set foot there.
"Contacts between Latin America and Islam date back to the 12th century.
Muslims discovered America in 1178, not Christopher Columbus," the
president said in a televised speech during an Istanbul summit of Muslim
leaders from Latin America.
"Muslim sailors arrived in America from 1178. Columbus mentioned the
existence of a mosque on a hill on the Cuban coast," Erdogan said.
The president also said that Ankara was prepared to build a mosque at
the site mentioned by the Genoese explorer, the AFP news agency reported.
"I would like to talk about it to my Cuban brothers. A mosque would go
perfectly on the hill today," he said.
Most history books say that Columbus set foot on the American continent
in 1492, while seeking a new maritime route to India.
Some Muslim scholars have recently suggested a prior Muslim presence in
the Americas, although no pre-Columbus ruin of an Islamic structure has
ever been found.
In a controversial article published in 1996, historian Youssef Mroueh
refers to a diary entry from Columbus that mentions a mosque in Cuba.
However, the passage is widely understood to be a metaphorical reference
to the shape of the landscape.
Source: Erdogan says Muslims discovered Americas - Middle East - Al
Jazeera English -