WorldLA Times: Fear of Islam was the force that caused Columbus to...

LA Times: Fear of Islam was the force that caused Columbus to discover America


On “Columbus Day”, which is celebrated today as a national holiday in the USA, an article titled “Columbus’s fear of Islam based on Europe’s Crusades shaped his view of Native Americans” appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

In the article penned by Yale University historian Alan Mikhail, “One of the most crucial aspects of Columbus biographies is missing: Columbus’s fear and hatred of Islam was the primary force behind his Atlantic crossings.” evaluation was made.

The article emphasized how the fear and hatred of Islam by white Europeans shaped how they interacted with indigenous peoples in what they called the “New World” for centuries and how today’s Americans understand the world.

“Columbus was essentially a crusader”

The article mentions how Columbus was born and raised in Europe with the stories of the ‘Crusades’, and how the power of the Ottoman navy, which he encountered from time to time in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas as a young sailor, affected him. It was reported that he participated in the war against Muslims in the south of the country.

The following statements were included in the article:

“Columbus was essentially a Crusader. Throughout his life, in his encounters with Muslims and later in his wars against Muslims, he felt the burden of the holy war deep in his soul. He had neither a secular quest for exploration nor a calculated commercial vision. More than anything else, he went to America with a deep Christian enthusiasm.”

The article states that this central place of Islam in Columbus’s life explains one of the strangest and least accepted aspects of his transatlantic voyages. shared information.

“Muslims were seen as the worst enemy”

In the article, it was pointed out that Columbus wrote that he saw about 400 mosques in the new lands he set foot on, and continued as follows:

“The reason for so much strangeness lies in the long history of Columbus and the European crusades against Islam. The centuries-old crucible of these religious wars, the increasing attacks by the Ottomans and other Muslims in the years after 1453, the Muslims in Europe called the Old World, and then the Columbus, who fought against the Native Americans in the New World, shaped the idea of ​​Islam as an enemy of the Europeans. These men, throughout their lives, saw Muslims as their greatest enemy, evaluated the non-white Native Americans as such, and established an imaginary bond between the two peoples.”

Noting that the history of the Americas and indigenous peoples should be viewed with this understanding, the article states, “This largely forgotten history is important. An anti-Islamic worldview is the pattern that shaped Europe’s understanding of race and ethnicity in the Americas and the concept of war in the Western Hemisphere.” comment has been made.

The article noted that Europeans fought with the mindset of the Crusades against the American native population, that this historical line going back to Columbus must be well understood on this “Columbian Day” holiday, that the history of seemingly different but interconnected cultures is the basis for new forms of solidarity, collective thought and action. was stated to be necessary.

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