Archeology: Evidence Scant for Ancient Muslims in America

Bradley Lepper, Columbus Dispatch, November 1, 2014


Richard Francaviglia, an adjunct professor of religious studies at Willamette University in Salem, Ore., argues that claims about pre-Columbian Muslims in the Americas, which have become increasingly popular since 9/11, provide a sense of ethnic pride for some contemporary Muslims. In an article in the current issue of the journal Terrae Incognitae, he writes, “The once seemingly esoteric subject of pre-Columbian Muslim exploration of the New World is now front and center in the so-called ‘Culture Wars’ of the early 21st century.”

The evidence for the presence of Muslims in America before 1492 is underwhelming. On Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to America, he reported seeing a “mountain like a pretty mosque” along the coast of Cuba. Some Muslim readers think Columbus actually saw a mosque rather than a mountain that only resembled a mosque.

The late Barry Fell, a Harvard biologist, argued that petroglyphs from California to Oklahoma were carved by pre-Columbian explorers from Libya. Petroglyphs, however, tend to be highly stylized. Francaviglia observes that they “can serve as Rorschach tests in that they mean different things to different people, depending on the mind-set of the observer.”

Many North American place names have Arabic roots, such as Medina in northeastern Ohio. Believers in ancient Muslim Buckeyes think this reflects the cultural identity of the city’s founders. Francaviglia explains that these names actually were “given to places in the 19th century by Anglo-Americans who were fascinated by the Muslim/Arab world.”

Francaviglia does not dispute that Muslims could have beaten Columbus to the New World. They certainly possessed the technological expertise to have done so; but, so far, there is no reliable evidence that they did. There are, however, very good reasons for thinking that they didn’t.

Arab maps were the best in the world, but none of the existing early maps demonstrates any knowledge of the Americas. Arabs also were prolific writers. Francaviglia thinks it’s virtually impossible that Arab explorers discovered the Americas and made no mention of the fact.


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  • AmericanCitizen

    Just wait a few more years as the Lib/Progs keep rewriting American history. 20 years from now kids will be told that Columbus stole a map to the New World from Muslims and that’s how he got here.

    • B.A_2014

      Don’t you mean he stole from the pygmies.

  • JackKrak

    God knows how much grant money he got for his “research”.

    Meanwhile, I worked at least 30 hours a week for the entire time I went to college and got a grand total of – seriously – $250 of scholarship money the whole time I studied.

    • Augustus3709

      Seriously these radical leftist universities are just guzzling the gravy right now. They need to have their funding cut. They steal tax dollars and produce nothing but agitating filth.

  • superlloyd

    This is as egregious and as devoid of evidence as the claim that blacks were native Americans or ancient Egyptians or Moors or Hebrews ad nauseam. Apart from Hussein Obama no one believes in this BS.

  • Muh Fugger

    Neal Armstrong was a muzzie. Albert Schweitzer was too. So was Albert Einstein. They were all Obama’s sons, as well.

  • Truthseeker

    Our race is so despised that whatever our people accomplish, other groups will try to claim it as their own. The whole thing is ridiculous.

    • B.A_2014

      Our race is envied. It is despised by our own people. OK Cupid is quite clear that white folk are the most desirable people on earth.

    • ElComadreja

      They have nothing of their own. Even those non- European groups that may have once had a few clever ideas have contributed nothing for hundreds or even thousands of years. No Europeans = no modern world. It’s that simple.

  • David Ashton

    They will have to argue it out with those who claim that Columbus was a crypto-Jew seeking a Zion across the Atlantic. Anyhow, we all know that whatever history says the only people NOT entitled to call the US their own are WASPs.

    • none of your business

      Don’t the Mormons claim that the American Indians were ancient Jews who some how managed to sail to America? Of course they also managed to build an Ark that survived the flood and must built a state of the art manure gutter drainage system in it.

      • David Ashton

        The Book of Mormon is partly plagiarized from previous matter read by Joseph Smith which put across this anthropological absurdity. It was certainly not a revelation from the Angel Moron(i).

  • MekongDelta69

    Richard Francaviglia, an adjunct professor of religious studies at Willamette University in Salem, Ore., argues that claims about pre-Columbian Muslims in the Americas, which have become increasingly popular since 9/11, provide a sense of ethnic pride for some contemporary Muslims.

    And that is exactly why this guilt-ridden, self-loathing, hypocritical, lying White leftist is nothing more than an adjunct ‘perfesser’ of (now) ‘useless studies.’

    But don’t worry – he’s on the correct PC tenure track to become of full ‘perfesser’ of indoctrination, lying and brainwashing in no time at all.

    …And besides (as every leftist knows), it’s not “Columbus Day.” It’s now “Indigenous People’s Day.”

    So what happens now? Do they rename it (for the tenth time) to now read, “Indigenous Muslim People’s Day?!”

    • The professor is disputing the Muslim claims per the last sentence in the article.

  • “Scant”

    Meaning “non-existent.”

    “Medina, Ohio”

    By that standard, the existence of Moscow, Idaho is proof that Russians landed in the New World long before Columbus set sail.

    • MekongDelta69

      No, no, no, Q.D.

      The Chinese got here first.

      Didn’t you ever have Peking Duck?!


    • none of your business

      Memphis TN is prove that black ancient Egyptians colonized American.

      • ElComadreja

        No. Berlin, NH proves the Germans did.

  • Easyrhino

    In a press release last summer Obama and First Lady Michelle released a statement thanking Muslim Americans for their many:

    “achievements and contributions… to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.”

    I can’t think of one.

    Perhaps Obama’s next career can be as a Sci-Fi author.

    • MekongDelta69

      He’s already written two science fiction books…
      (with a little help from his ‘friends.’)

    • none of your business

      The first Arabs to arrive were Syrian Christians fleeing muslim persecution back in the 1700’s. I don’t think the Obamas are any worse about muslims than pervious presidents.

    • Whitetrashgang

      Wow, my back hurts just from picking up a shovel on that one.

  • Dave West

    Oh I get it! During the Middle Ages when ignorant, dirty, and dumb white Europeans were “living in caves;” and the Moors “ruled Europe”(somehow occupying half of Spain qualifies as ruling Europe). A group of talented, ingenious, courageous, and innovative Arab and Black Muslims set sail into the ocean blue in an act of black/brown solidarity to spread the peaceful and tolerant word of Islam. Whites, the most stupid, dirty, and greedy group of people in the world somehow managed to steal Islamic technology and ideas; and within a few hundred years create the most advanced economies, empires, innovations, and militaries the world had ever seen.

    • B.A_2014

      That is about right according to the PC average Joe on the street that would rather backstroke his way through a crocodile infested swamp than offend our Muslim friends.

    • journey

      Those fools who make up such delusions forgot about the Renaissance which flowered from the foundations set forth during the Middle Ages. From the Renaissance (scientific discoveries) which set forth the Industrial Revolution. The whites have yet to stop pulling forward this planet. But the gene pool must be protected from breeding with inferiors.

      No such achievements from blacks or Muslins (too contaminated by black genes – lowering of IQ).

    • ElComadreja

      Not only that. We forced them to go live in tents and dung huts and magically lowered their mean IQ.

  • Luca

    So Columbus saw a mountain that looked like a mosque, therefore it was a mosque. Well I don’t know about you but I’m convinced. How long before Columbus is written out of the history books and replaced by Ali Baba?

    • none of your business

      By mosque the man probably meant a dome shaped mountain. We better go see Hagia Sophia before the muslims tear it down.

      • Groovy

        They’re going to make it a mosque again. Then they won’t let us in.

    • Whitetrashgang

      I think he will be replaced by a half black half gay woman over 400 lbs with a wooden leg and nappy hair who also discovers a comb.

    • Anna Tree

      They explain most of the errors/contradictions/non-sense of the koran in the same manner.

      For example allah says in verse 023.014 “Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a lump; then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the best to create!” and so the muslims claim that the congealed blood is an embryo and a lump is a fetus lol Try to tell them that this is wishful thinking or that an embryo is not a drop of sperm or that flesh comes before the bones and they will may turn ISIS on you.

      Or about the verse 79:30 “And after that He spread the earth,” even though there are many other verses saying the Earth is like a carpet, muslims will say that allah in fact wants to say that the earth is spherical like an egg because the word spread is also used when explaining the place flatten by an ostrich when she needs to hide her egg from a predator! Don’t try to remind them that this is completely not logical and that anyway, the earth is not ostrich egg shaped!! LOL

  • Lefties make up all sorts of outrageously false claims in service to the idea of one world government. The New World Order is softening us up for the importation of many millions more muzzies from the Middle East, as refugees.

    This silly idea gives them the legitimate claim on the US, while allowing the idea that whites are the interlopers to take hold. Demoralizing whites via massive lies is the agenda. Don’t fall for it.

  • John

    I’ve never heard this line of malarky and I do try to keep up with the lastest archeological developments and recent finds. There is however, considerable evidence of extensive pre Columbian exploration of North America by mostly Scandanavians. “America B.C.: Ancient Settlers in the New World” by Barry Fell is a fascinating read that deals extensively with just this subject, does a good job of making a believer of you based on the evidence and is available on Amazon for just a few dollars.

  • Alfredo Rossi

    I guess they’ll never talk about the Kennewick Man and all the evidence White people were in America 10000 years before the so called “natives”.

    • journey

      Actually, the red man was the first to settle in North America some 100,000 years ago. A group of Eskimos did ventured through and interbred with the red man. But, the red man was isolated until eventually discovered by the white man.

    • ElComadreja

      One of my pet peeves. Everyone born on US soil is a NATIVE AMERICAN.

  • Bobbala

    I wish white racists were the scourge of civilization and the enemy of the reasoned peace loving oppressed of all creation. Then maybe we wouldn’t be so clung to and hotly pursued by our “victims”.

    • David Ashton

      I have just been talking to a Chinese cook about Thai brides on the internet and the backwardness of some fringe areas around the south of his Middle Kingdom. He grinned, boasted of his ancient civilization, and said that in the old days if these conquered peoples played up, the Emperor would send in the soldiers and teach them a lesson they wouldn’t forget, accompanying his racial enthusiasm with a sudden downward chopping of his right hand. Compare that confidence and pride with the apologetic guilt and masochism of the “white man” today.

  • Rainer

    Oriental people are bad at sailing. It takes the many rivers streams and bays of occidental Europe to learn it. From the deserts of the orient this is not possible.
    Arabs were always afraid to go at the high seas. Pirates in Morocco were criminals who were initially sentenced to death and then pardoned under the parole they go at the high seas for the Sultan.

    9/11 made pre-Columbian Muslims popular? One would think it would make the thesis that Muslims have no place in America popular or the thesis that Muslims are America’s enemies. But it didn’t.

  • none of your business

    I suppose names like Ithaca, Corinth, Athens etc were bestowed not by 1800’s classic Greek revival enthusiasts but by ancient Greeks?

    • David Ashton

      Who were of course all black folk like Afristotle.

  • journey

    The last paragraph describes ancient Arabic accomplishment, not present day Arabs. The ancient Arabs, whoever they were, are long gone. Just like, the present day Greeks and Egyptians are not the ancient peoples who built the advanced civilzations. It’s like a thousand years from now, to say blacks built Detroit just because the majority of the population was black.

    No, Muslins never came to the Americas.

    • ElComadreja

      Islam didn’t even exist until it was made up by a psychopathic child molesting warlord in the 7th century to justify his depraved actions.

  • dd121

    Of course there were. They were sent by the black pharaohs.

    • TTownTony

      Very, very late in ancient Egyptian history there were a few black pharoahs, but they were invaders from the south and the country was in ruins.

      • journey

        There were never any black pharaohs – just part of the black studies delusions. The ancient Egyptians would not have tolerated a black sitting on the throne in contrast to this country.

        Besides how could a black ever ascend the throne when there were so many Egyptian contenders? Unless as you stated when the country was in ruins just like Detroit. But then in reality it would not be the same Egypt.

        Also, this country is decaying as shown by the number of blacks allowed to sit in seats of power and by our open borders.

  • guest

    “This does not stop people claiming Muslims got here before Columbus.”

    If muslims got to America before Columbus, there wouldn’t even be an America. They would have completely destroyed it with their suicide bombings and all their other acts of terrorism.

    • Hahaha… indeed, they would have allahu snackbar’ed the poor injuns to smithereens.

  • RHG

    Just muslims and their revisionist history in order to push a claim that the whole world is “muslim land” and that they are the rightful owners of the entire planet and entitled to enslave it. These people are truly insane.

  • RacialRay

    I worked with a virulent black racist years ago who was utterly convinced that every good thing ever conceived came from his “people”, and that the white race, natural-born thieves that we are, stole it from them. A typical rant from the guy went something like this:

    “White folk ALWAYS be stealing sh!t from the bruthas!
    Space shuttle? BLACK man!
    Cellphone? BLACK man!
    Microsoft Windows? BLACK man!
    Unified field theory? BLACK man!”

    (Okay, well that last one is my own extrapolation, but you get the idea.)

  • Bubba Dirt

    I did read about an Egyptian Muslim who somehow ended up in the US in the early 1700s. He wanted to marry an American Indian girl, but she rejected him. So, being a Muslim, he killed her. A few days later, members of her tribe came to his home, tied him to a tree in the front yard, and burned him alive.

  • NoMosqueHere

    Maybe if they find severed head artifacts in Ohio they’ll have something.

  • Actually, the Jews were the first to discover America… Okay, just kidding. But some of Columbus’ crew (and Possibly Columbus himself) were crypto-Jews.

    • Earl Turner

      Vikings discovered North America 500 years before Columbus discovered Haiti.

      • TTownTony

        That is very true, but they failed and no one else in Eurpoe knew about it.

  • Flytrap

    I think we all know that the Columbus America thing was a Jewish plot to put the nail in the coffin for Iberian Muslims in 1492. Black Africans and Muslims were regularly trading with the Aztecs and Incas in the centuries before Columbus, it was when the Jews felt the winds of change in Southern Europe and organized a European expedition to the Americas so they could wipe out all traces of Muslim contact and give credit to Columbus who was the grand nephew of the Rothschild’s.

  • TTownTony

    The single most compelling argument against significant Pre-Columbian contact is disease. The Indians and Eskimo peoples had no resistence to many Old World diseases. It has been estmated that in the Southeastern US as much as 90% of the natives died from diseases introduced by the early Spanish explorers. There is a fascinating book, “Peoples and Plagues” written a number of years ago that goes into detail about this.

    It has been proven that Vikings reached North America before Columbus, BUT their visit was temporary and not to a major population center. Anyone visiting from the middle east or southern Europe to the Southeastern US or Central and South America before Columbus would have spread devastating diseases.

    • TTownTony

      Plus it should be noted that the Viking attempt to settle was a failure. No one realized it was a new continent and word did not get out like it did with Columbus. Until the archaeological site in Canada was discovered a few decades ago, there was no proof it ever happened. All the credit should go to Columbus.

  • David Ashton

    We get a rewriting of history in Britain too. We are falsely described as a “nation of immigrants” to obscure the racial commonality of almost all our population from Roman times until the “multicultural” mass immigration from “third world” regions during the past five decades or so. “Who controls the past, controls the future.”

  • Fed Up

    As amply demonstrated by the Black History forced studies — the world’s under-achieving people will try to claim credit for anything they can think of.

    Six or seven years ago, I posted comments here on AmRen about the fabled exploits of Great King Oobla Goobla and those miracles he performed in Africa. I should look to see if I still have copies then repost them.

    What most people fail to realize, the slop passing as Black History Studies are concoctions created by White Liberals — trying to boost Black pride by giving them a lot of undeserved {read totally misplaced] credit for accomplishments Blacks never made.

  • David Ashton

    “The deadline for the exodus of the Jews [from Spain] and the beginning of the Columbian voyage occurred only one day apart…. Muslims – an ethnically mixed group of Arabs, various Near Eastern peoples, and North African Berbers – [had] conquered most of Iberia in 711 with help from the Jewish population…. Columbus offered to the Spanish crown another route to India across the Atlantic. He too was trying to override Muslim commercial wealth…. Jewish merchants played a visible although secondary role in the black slave trade, just as in early medieval Europe Jews had been prominent traffickers in white flesh.
    “Columbus…was descended, as he indicated in his will, from a Jewish convert family. He was, however, not trying to find a home for exiled Jews. He was trying to bring all history to a conclusion [that] Christ would return only when the Church was fully triumphant in the world. Conversion of the Jews was one important sign…. Another was the conversion of the peoples in the East, for which Columbus’s voyages were intended to establish the basis….” – Prof. Norman F. Cantor, “The Sacred Chain: A History of the Jews” (1995) pp.185,191-192.

  • Francis Miville

    There were Muslims for sure before Columbus, or at least people following the political principles as exposed by Mohammed, the human sacrificing Aztecs.