News and Facts about Cuba

Cuba Rejects Erdogan’s Offer to Build Country’s First Mosque

Cuba Rejects Erdogan’s Offer to Build Country’s First Mosque
Communist government says no thanks to Turkish leader’s offer during
speech in which he claimed ‘Muslims discovered American.’
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 11/16/2014, 9:55 PM

Cuba has reportedly rejected Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s
offer to build the country’s first mosque.

Erdogan’s offer came during a speech in Istanbul to Muslim leaders from
Latin America, in which he made the bizarre claim that Muslims
discovered America nearly three centuries before Christopher Columbus.

“Muslim sailors arrived in America from 1178,” Erdogan said at the
televised address.

“Columbus mentioned the existence of a mosque on a hill on the Cuban
coast,” he added, and said that Ankara was even prepared to build a
mosque at the site mentioned by the Genoese explorer.

“I would like to talk about it to my Cuban brothers. A mosque would go
perfectly on the hill today.”

But according to the Turkish World Bulletin website, the head of
Havana’s tiny Muslim community, Pedro Lazo Torres, said that his joint
efforts with Turkey’s Religious Affairs Foundation (TDV) to open a
mosque in the Cuban capital was rejected by the country’s communist
government.

He expressed his disappointment at the decision, contrasting it to the
decision to allow Russia to build at Russian Orthodox church in the
country. Cuba’s 4,000 Muslims are currently restricted to praying in
private homes.

The TDV’s initiative is reportedly part of a wider drive to build
mosques throughout the Caribbean.

Erdogan’s claim of an ancient mosque in Cuba is likely a reference to an
article published in 1996, in which historian Youssef Mroueh cites a
diary entry from Columbus that mentions a “mosque” “on top of a
beautiful mountain” in Cuba. But the 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.

A tiny minority of Muslim scholars have recently suggested a Muslim
presence in the Americas before Columbus, but no remains of an
Islamic structure antedating the discoverer has ever been found.

Source: Cuba Rejects Offer to Build Country’s First Mosque – Global
Agenda – News – Arutz Sheva –
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187526#.VGnOjfnF9HF

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