November 16, 2014
Erdoğan says America was discovered by Muslims, not Columbus
America was discovered by Muslims, not by Christopher Columbus, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has claimed, vowing to build a mosque "on that hill" in Cuba if the authorities of the Caribbean nation grant the permit.
Dr. Youssef Mroueh of the As-Sunnah Foundation of America had publicized the claim about a pre-Columbian mosque in Cuba. In 1996, he 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."
Some Muslim scholars aside, the same diary entry is widely understood as a metaphoric reference to a protuberance on the summit of a mountain that resembles a mosque's dome or minaret. Moreover, although the first "widespread" habitation of the Americas is dated around 16,500–13,000 years ago, a pre-Columbian ruin of an Islamic structure has yet to be discovered.