Friday, November 21, 2014

Historians refute 'mosque in Cuba' claim

Prominent Turkish historian İlber Ortaylı has said the Turkish president’s comments on Muslims discovering the American continent before Christopher Columbus were “half-fantasy.”

Meanwhile, U.S. historian Gary Knight told Hürriyet that Columbus did indeed mention a mosque in his diaries written about the Americas’ discovery, but it was a “little peak like a pretty little mosque,” on a mountain that Columbus described.

“The sources for the theory that Muslims discovered America lack scientific precision,” Ortaylı said on private broadcaster CNNTürk on Nov. 20, adding that some historians from China and Denmark have also laid claim to those countries discovering the Americas before Columbus.

Knight, who wrote the historical novel “Forgotten Brothers,” in which the story of the Pinzon brothers is highlighted, said Columbus had not written of seeing an actual mosque, but rather a “little peak like a pretty little mosque” located on “beautiful and lofty mountains,” which he said resembled the “Pena de los Enamorados” (Lovers’ Rock) in Spain.

Knight added that the place described in Columbus’ diaries was in the Bahamas and not in Cuba.

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