By Martin Mawyer
Just after Christmas, the co-founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) went on a Saudi TV station and made the outrageous suggestion that Muslims may have discovered America before Columbus.
His comments were ignored by major news outlets and only sparsely reported elsewhere.
Here is what he said:
“Some documents and accounts indicate that Muslim seafarers were the first to reach the U.S., so the bottom line is that Islam played a part in the establishment and development of the U.S.” Nihad Awad, co-founder of CAIR
Though these comments demand a response, especially from American historians, his remarks have basically gone without any critical review, examination or intellectual debate.
What’s the big deal, anyway, one might ask? Does anyone really believe these bizarre and baseless claims?
I’ve been holding off writing this piece -- this article about “Muslims Discovering America” -- for quite some time. But now, with the co-founder of America’s largest Muslim lobbying group joining the growing ranks of Muslims making these unfounded assertions, it needs to be addressed.
First, let me make clear why this discussion is important.
Back in 1994, Osama bin Laden issued a fatwa allowing Muslims to carry out violent jihad to regain “every stolen Islamic land” that was “lost because of the betrayals of rulers and the feebleness of Muslims.”
In other words, Muslims could reconquer any previously held land, including America, if it could be determine that Muslims had previously conquered or established these territories.
Then, in 1996, two significant writings appeared in the Muslim world.
Most significant were the writings of a Muslim historian named Abdul-Hassan Al-Masudi, who claimed that that Muslims discovered America long before Columbus. His article was cited, copied and widely distributed and published over the Internet.
Al-Masudi claimed, “Muslims from Spain and West Africa arrived to the Americas at least five centuries before Columbus.” Did you get that? He said five centuries BEFORE Columbus came to America, giving these Muslims plenty of time to marry with native Indians and breed Muslim children.
With five centuries of Muslim breeding in America, then of course this land would have been “established” by Muslims, which is the point the co-founder of CAIR is trying to make when he said, “Islam played a part in the establishment and development of the U.S.”
Also significantly in 1996, the very year Al-Masudi claimed America was first discovered by Muslims …
… Osama bin Laden issued a declaration of war on the U.S.
Though it may be a mere coincidence that bin Laden declared war on the United States at the same time Al-Masdui was claiming Muslims discovered America, it cannot be ignored that bin Laden certainly did not forget about his fatwa two years earlier telling Muslims it was their religious duty to recapture “stolen land.”
Interestingly, just one year after bin Laden’s attack on the U.S., a Muslim group called the Middle East Policy Council published a teachers’ guide for American students declaring, once again, that Muslims discovered America.
The Middle East Policy Council is a Washington, D.C., advocacy group that promotes curriculum to school districts in 155 U.S. cities.
The text in that teacher’s guide, called “Arab World Studies Notebook,” claims that Arab explorers came to America in advance of Columbus, marrying the Algonquin Indians whose descendants became tribal chiefs with Muslim names like Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik.
The teacher’s guide has been dismissed by the director of Canada’s Algonquin Nation Secretariat, Peter DiGangi, who called the assertion “outlandish” and “nothing in the tribe’s written or oral history support them.”
Still, the teacher’s guide has been distributed to more than 10,000 American teachers, according to its editor, Audrey Shabbas, and has reached about 25 million students. (Certainly, this is an exaggeration by its editor, but there is no way to either prove or dispute the claim.)
Promoting such an outlandish lie to American students is difficult to comprehend. But to also understand that the purpose of this lie is to lay the foundation for radical Islamists to wage jihad against America, to reclaim what was “stolen” and to reconquer this Muslim territory, should alarm us all.
This is precisely the point of one group of militant Islamists living and operating in the United States, a group known for its past acts of terrorism called “Muslims of the Americas” (MOA).
MOA is an organization headed by a Pakistani cleric, Sheikh Mubarik Ali Gilani. According to law enforcement, this group was been associated with 10 assassinations and 17 fire bombings inside the United States.
In addition, it has established nearly three dozen camps, villages and compounds in America, many of which are used to train Muslims in Islamic guerilla warfare.
For more information about MOA see here.
MOA has long been at the forefront of Muslim groups claiming that America was first discovered by Muslims.
In 2008, the group posted a series of articles on their web site which basically gave away their plan to attack America.
First, the group made clear that Muslims discovered America, telling their members:
“Moreover, historians have verified the fact that even before Christopher Columbus ventured into the oceans of the western hemisphere, Muslims from Africa and Spain set their feet on North American and Caribbean soil.”
The author of this article, Abdul Malik, gives credit to Muslim historian Al-Masdui (mentioned above) as the source of his supposed facts about Muslims discovering America.
After making this claim about America, the web site immediately gives its members a history lesson about “Decisive Victories in Islam.”
Most important, these decisive Islamic victories are about how even small groups of Muslims can still win battles over much larger, better-trained and better-funded enemies.
This is important because MOA has small guerilla warfare compounds in the United States for the sole purpose of eventually waging jihad against America.
One undercover informant for the NYPD, who spent eight years inside this terrorist group, told me, “These kids, all they’ve been living for their whole lives is to fight a holy war.”
Gilani calls his members “Soldiers of Allah.”
One of the challenges for the founder of MOA, Sheikh Gilani, is to convince his small following they have a religious duty to wage jihad in America – and can succeed.
Obviously, Gilani must first convince his American followers they have a religious basis for retaking America, which is done by explaining to his radicalized members that Muslims first founded the United States.
The fact that his “Soldiers of Allah” are such a small force should not discourage them from seeing the potential for success, Gilani writes in an article to them.
He says, “Surprise and deception are principles of war. If applied secretly and judiciously before and during battle, a success can be achieved by a smaller army with a low cost of casualties.”
All these soldiers need, he explains, is the willingness to sacrifice their lives by following the leadership of dedicated commanders.
“Solders who are better trained,” he writes, “dedicated and inspired with the spirit of sacrifice led by bold commanders, will always be successful, even if they are numerically inferior to their adversaries.”
This was Sheikh Gilani’s message to his American followers after telling them Muslims were the first to discover Amerca.
The fact that the co-founder of CAIR went on Saudi TV, and broadcast in a country known for its strident Islamic beliefs, a country that gave birth to Osama bin Laden who declared war on America, a country that was responsible for producing 15 of the 19 hijackers who actually attacked the United States …
… and announced that Muslims were the first to discover America, should not be mistaken as simply incidental, irrelevant or boastful.
In fact, his statements could best be seen as buttressing the arguments of the Muslim Brotherhood and its demand that all Islamic territory be liberated and replaced with the State of Islam.
In an article titled, “Jihad is the Way,” the Muslim Brotherhood states:
“Jihad for Allah is not limited to the specific region of the Islamic countries,” the Muslims Brotherhood writes. The “banner of Jihad,” they claim, must continue to be raised “until every inch of the land of Islam will be liberated, the State of Islam will be established.” (Mustafa Mashur, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996-2002)
Though its English is wanting for help, the message of the Muslim Brotherhood, and groups like Muslims of the Americas, is clear:
Any territory formerly held by Muslims belongs to Islam.
And if anyone doubts this is also the message of CAIR, then look at this recent photo which the organization put out for its 2013 Inaugural Benefit in Washington, D.C.
A minaret of a mosque is superimposed over the White House.
According to Islam Watch, a group representing former Muslims, a minaret on a mosque is a Muslim symbol for declaring the supremacy of Islam and Muslims over non-Muslims.
Martin Mawyer is the Founder and President of Christian Action Network, a non-profit public advocacy and education group based in Lynchburg, Virginia. He began his career as a freelance journalist and has authored several books, including “Silent Shame,” “The Pro-Family Contract With America,” “Pathways to Success,” and his most recent, “Twilight in America: The Untold Story of Islamic Terrorist Training Camps Inside America.” He has produced a number of documentary films, including Homegrown Jihad, Islam Rising, Sacrificed Survivors and America’s Islamic Threat. Mawyer has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, Larry King Live, Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, NBC’s Today Show, Entertainment Tonight and Fox and Friends. His latest book, “Twilight in America,” co-authored by Patti A. Pierucci, details the activities of Islamic terrorist training camps scattered throughout the United States. It can be purchased at TwilightInAmerica.com or Amazon.com in book or Kindle version