Fact... Columbus did not discover America
There are many books and analysis on this particular subject. Some historians claim that it was the pharaohs of Egypt who reached Americas due to the similarities they find between the Egyptian and Mexican pyramids. One may argue if the pharaohs could reach Mexico, there are all the chances that Mexicans might have also visited Egypt and taught the Egyptians the art and science of pyramid construction.
It is also said that it was the Vikings who first discovered America. They were seafarers by nature and geographically closer to the continent. Some believe that it was the Chinese who discovered America’s eastern side by sailing through the Pacific. Historians, archeologists, human development scientists or ecologists have proposed most of these theories.
But we had never heard any politician making such claims. However, two weeks ago Turkish President Recep Teyyip Erdogan claimed that the Americas were discovered by Muslims 300 years before Columbus set foot in the new world.
This means that the history books are wrong in their claims that the old name of New York was New Amsterdam. Most likely it must have been New Istanbul, I am just guessing.
According to Erdogan, Muslims discovered America in 1178. He tried to prove his claim by quoting a diary entry of Columbus in which he mentioned a mosque-like structure on a hill in Cuba.
Many say that this is the first time they heard of such a thing. It is not that I am trying to downplay the role and influence of the Islamic civilization on the entire world hundreds of years ago. As a matter of fact, Muslim scientists, mathematician, scholars, thinkers, astronomers, alchemists, philosophers, physicians and others are the ones who had made huge impact on modern day civilizations. But the clocks of Islamic contributions to the world stopped hundreds of years ago. And what Erdogan is doing is simply repeating what all present Muslims do, always looking at the past, but never learning from it. We never try to keep pace with the present and what is worse is that today’s Muslims don’t even plan for the future. We let the others do it for us. America and the West in general dictate the style and way of our living, eating or learning habits. America and the West invented and discovered every modern day inventions, from telephone to computer and from polio vaccine to pacemaker.
We Muslims don’t need to tell America or the West about our past achievements. It is written in their books and can be found in all their libraries. It is true that the distant stars have Arabic/ Islamic names. But, it was NASA that landed man on the moon. It is true that many scientific objects, such as the Astrolabe has Arabic/Islamic name, but it is a European spacecraft that landed on a comet. Muslims must break away from their past and start thinking about their future. So, the question now is who really discovered America if it were not the Egyptians, Chinese, Vikings or the Muslims? The most known fact is that it was the Norse expedition led by Leif Ericson in the 11th Century. His voyage led to the first contact with people in the new world and declared that he discovered Vinland, which is near today’s Cape Cod on the eastern American shores. Columbus voyages were constant connection that never stopped after 1492. And that is why history books have Columbus as the discoverer of America. The bottom line is that we never heard any Egyptian, north European or Chinese political leader talk about the discovery of America because this is left to the historians. Only a Muslim leader declared to the world that it were the Muslims who discovered America. Islamic and Muslims past glories cannot be brought back by historical fantasies. Erdogan remembered far-fetched historical theory, which is 800 years old about the discovery of America but he does not appear to remember Turkish historical events that took place 100 years ago.
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