Erdogan says Muslims discovered Americas

Turkish leader says Muslims, not Christopher Columbus, discovered continent in 1178, offering to build a mosque in Cuba.

    Erdogan says Muslims discovered Americas
    Contacts between Latin America and Islam date back to the 12th century, Erdogan said [Reuters]

    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: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Music to kill to': Rwandan genocide survivors remember RTLM

    'Music to kill to': Rwandan genocide survivors remember RTLM

    Following the arrest of genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga, survivors reflect on the role of the radio station he funded.

    The Power Worshippers: A look inside the American religious right

    The Power Worshippers: A look inside the American religious right

    An insight into the history and present of Christian nationalism, the movement behind Donald Trump's religious support.

    Open letter: African writers in solidarity with African Americans

    African writers to US protesters: 'We stand with you'

    Authors voice support for US protesters seeking justice for George Floyd's killing, urge more action by African Union.