So Muslims Came to America Before Columbus?Roundup: Talking About History
A liberal advocacy group in Washington recently committed intellectual genocide on American Indians. Authors of the group presumed to fabricate Indian history, as if real Indian history doesn’t matter. Authors simply created an Indian story to suit the purposes of the advocacy group, and published it in a school text manual as fact.
Sounds incredible, but the Middle East Policy Council published a 540-page book called Arab World Studies Notebook, a teacher’s guide for presenting Arab culture to young American students. The text, published five years ago, has a two-page chapter entitled, “Early Muslim Exploration Worldwide: Evidence of Muslims In the New World Before Columbus.” The text says Arab Muslim explorers were here in America before Columbus, and married Algonquin Indians. These early marriages produced descendents who, by the 17th century, became Algonquin chiefs, like “Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik.” The Washington Times notes there is no evidence to validate the story.
The story is simply designed to give the Arabs a home in America, to make them part of the foundation of American civilization. The story was an attempt to make Arabs “indigenous.”
The author and editor of Arab World Studies Notebook is Audrey Park Shabbas, the Teacher Workshop Leader of MEPC’s impressive educational program for grades 7-12. Shabbas, a Muslim convert and zealot, is a career advocate of Arabic culture. Executive Director of Arab World And Islamic Resources since 1995, she tirelessly champions the Arab Muslim “cause” in America.
The story of Arab Muslim explorers and Indians is her collusion with Shayk Abdallah Hakim Quick, another Muslim convert (1970) and zealot for Islamic ascendancy like Shabbas. The internet does not reveal family background of either Shabbas or Quick, but Shabbas regularly decries the Anti-Defamation League, and apparently sued them for illegally obtaining information on Arab Americans.
But it’s okay for Shabbas and Quick to fabricate information about American Indians, because it’s they think it’s good cause. They want Arab Muslims to be more acceptable in a time. If Arabs can somehow be linked to the American Indian, they’ll be spared. They will have that special place, that unique validation, which will enable them to say Arab Muslims are the founding fathers of civilization in the Americas.
"It is not, nor has it ever been, our intention to spread lies or untruths," said Jon Roth, Program Director of Middle East Policy Council. Of course not. The intent is merely to give a face lift to Arabs. Who cares if American Indians are used? Early Indian history is mostly oral tradition anyway. It’s open season for multiculturalists. Anyone can make up Indian stories, and include anyone in the Indian race. It’s everyone’s “civil right.”
This free use of American Indian history by white liberals to promote Arab Muslims is the most presumptuous disrespect of Indians in history. Indians are relegated to myth, as if we didn’t really exist historically…or if we did, our history did not matter – we’re just a fantasy for anyone to use any time it suits. We’re a free talisman of racial, cultural validation. Just say you’re Indian, you’re in, at the deepest level.
But this nonsense isn’t complimentary to Indians. This egregious fraud is abuse of Indians. Just pin that Indian name on yourself, and you suddenly belong to America. Shabbas pinned “Indian” on every Arab in history – including America’s worst enemies.
Multicultural liberals obviously hate and disrespect Indians.
An Indian advocacy group exposed Shabbas’ chicanery. Algonquin Nation’s Peter DiGangi protested her text until MECP finally had to face the facts. Some 1,200 copies of the her book have already been circulated, but she promises to give “careful and thoughtful attention” to how exactly to break the news that she lied to all the trusting teachers who were given copies of the text.
Maybe she should say the romance fantasy between Arabs and Indians was all sublimated sexual excitement. But should such personal indulgence be published as fact in professional secondary school texts?
Alas, exotic sexuality may be in her professional style. Last year Shabbas spoke at San Francisco University High School’s “Global Awareness” evening, which included homosexual advocacy. She has shown no offense by the association. One thing is certain:Shabbas thinks feminism is advocated in the Qur’an. Now that’s super sexual fantasy!
Let her keep her sexual hang-ups. But let her keep them from lying about American Indians in the nation’s textbooks.
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Adam Mohammad Jacob - 3/27/2007
The Uruguayan writer and historian EDUARDO GALEANO has devoted much of his work to the history of Latin America, attempting to express the point of view of the victims of the Conquest of the Americas after the European invasion of 500 years ago, currently being celebrated as the "Discovery". The following article, which is reprinted from International Viewpoint, originally appeared in the Uruguayan journal Brecha.
On October 12, 1492, America discovered capitalism as Christopher Columbus, financed by the kings of Spain and the bankers of Genoa brought this novelty to the Caribbean islands. In his journal of the Discovery, the Admiral employs the word "gold" 139 times and the words "God" or "Our Lord" 51. These unspoilt beaches filled him with tireless enthusiasm and on November 27 he prophesied that "all Christendom will do business here". In that at least he was right. He may have believed that Haiti was Japan and that Cuba was China and that the inhabitants of China were the Indians of India, but about the business side of things he made no mistake.
Anthropologists have proven that the Mandinkos under Mansa Musa's instructions explored many parts of North America via the Mississippi and other rivers systems. At Four Corners, Arizona, writings show that they even brought elephants from Africa to the
2. 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. The ruins of mosques and minarets with inscriptions of Qur’anic verses have been discovered in Cuba, Mexico, Texas and Nevada. (8)
After five centuries of business-like activity on the part of all Christendom a third of the American forests have been destroyed, a significant part of the previously fertile land is sterile and more than half the population eats only one meal a day. The Indians, victims of the biggest expropriation in world history continue to be pushed off their last remaining lands and their identity is still denied. They are forbidden to live in their own way. At the outset the pillage and "othercide" was performed in the name of God; now it is done in the name of Progress.
However the outlines of another possible America -- invisible to the existing America blinded by racism -- shine through this forbidden and despised identity.
On October 12, 1492, Columbus wrote in his journal that he wanted to take some Indians to Spain "so that they can learn to speak". Five centuries later, on October 12, 1989, a United States' court declared Ladislao Pastrana, a Mixtec Indian from Mexico's Oaxaca region and an illegal agricultural worker in California "mentally retarded" because he could not speak proper Castillan (Spanish) and recommended that he be held for life in an asylum. Pastrana had difficulty understanding his Spanish-speaking interpreter and the psychologist diagnosed "intellectual deficiency". Finally, the anthropologists sorted things out; Pastrana expressed himself perfectly in his own language Mixtec, spoken by Indians with a 2000 year old cultural inheritance.
Paraguay speaks Guarani; this is a unique case in world history where the common national language is that of the conquered Indians. However, opinion polls reveal that the majority of Paraguayans think that whose who do not speak Spanish are "like animals". One out of two Peruvians is Indian. According to the country's constitution, Quechua is a national language with the same status as Spanish. However reality does not conform to the constitution. Peru treats the Indians as South Africa treats blacks. Spanish is the only language taught in the schools, the only one understood by judges, police and officials; it is true that Spanish is not the only language heard on television -- which also speaks English.
Five years ago, city registrars in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires refused to record the birth of a child. The parents, indigenous people from Jujuy wanted to give their child a first name from their language -- Qori Wamancha. The Argentine registrars could not accept this "foreign name".
The Indians of America live in exile in their own land. Their language is not a sign of identity but a mark or a curse. It does not say who a person is, it brands them. When Indians give up their language, they start to become "civilised".
When I was a child I was taught in the Uruguayan schools that our country had been saved from the "native problem" thanks to the generals of the last century who wiped out the last Charruas (a people from the Rio de la Plata region).
The native problem. The first Americans, the continent's real discoverers are a problem. To get rid of the problem the Indians must stop being Indians. They must either be wiped off the map or their spirit must be wiped out; the alternatives are annihilation or assimilation, genocide or "othercide".
In December 1976, Brazil's interior minister announced triumphantly that "the native problem will be totally solved" by the end of the 20th century. By then all Indians would be properly absorbed into Brazilian society and would no longer be Indians. The minister explained that the task of the organisation officially entrusted with their protection (the national Indian Foundation) is to make them disappear.
The invasion of Amazonia by enterprises greedy for minerals and wood was accompanied by shots, dynamite, presents of poisoned food, the contamination of rivers, the destruction of forests and the spread of diseases unknown to the Indians. However this long and ferocious attack has not been enough. The domestication of the surviving Indians to save them from barbarism is also an indispensable weapon if all the remaining obstacles on the road of the Conquest are to be overcome.
"Kill the Indian and save the man" advised the pious American adviser Henry Pratt. Years later the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa has explained that the only solution is to modernise the Indians even if this means that their culture has to sacrificed to save them from hunger and poverty.
The maelstrom of salvation
Salvation has condemned Indians to working from dawn to dusk in mines and on plantations for wages which are not even enough for a can of dog food. Saving the Indians also involves breaking up their communities and throwing them into the maelstrom of the cities as cheap labour, where they change their language, their name and their bearing and where they become beggars, drunks and prostitutes.
Then again, saving the Indians can mean putting them in uniform and sending them, rifle on their shoulder, to kill other Indians or die defending the very system that has repudiated them. Indians make good cannon fodder, of 25,000 mobilised during the Second World War, 10,000 died.
On December 16, 1492, Columbus explained in his journal that the Indians are there "to receive orders and to work, to sow and to do all that is necessary and to make cities and to learn to wear clothes and our customs".
Subjugation of the body; robbery of the soul. In speaking of this operation the verb "reduce to" (the Spanish verb reducir) appears all the time. The Indian saved has been reduced. S/he will be reduced until s/he disappears. Emptied of themselves, they are non-Indians, nobody.
The shaman of the Chamacocos Indians of Paraguay sings of the stars, the spiders and the mad Totila who wanders in the forests crying. He explains what the kingfisher says; "Do not suffer from hunger, do not suffer from thirst. Mount on my wings and we will eat the river fish and drink the wind". He sings about what the mist says: "I am coming to cut down the frost so that your people will not suffer from cold".
He sings about what the horses of the sky say: "We will saddle up and go to look for rain".
However the missionaries of an evangelical sect forced the shaman to abandon his feathers, tambourines and chants because "these things are from the devil"; he can no longer attempt to cure vipers' bites, bring rain in times of drought, not fly over the land to sing about what he sees. In a conversation with Ticio Escobar the shaman said; "I stopped singing and I fell ill. My dreams don't know where to go and they torment me. I am old and wounded. In the end what good has it done me to give up what belonged to me?"
That was in 1986. In 1614, the Archbishop of Lima had all the quenas (Indian flutes) and other Indian musical instruments burnt and prohibited all their dances, songs and ceremonies threatening with a hundred lashes for those who refused for "they are in league with demons".
To dispossess the Indians of their freedom and belongings they were deprived of their symbols of identity. They were forbidden to sing, dance and dream of their gods even it they themselves (the Spaniards) had been danced and sung about in the distant ndians have been and are crucified in the name of Christ: to save them from the hell the idolatrous pagans must receive the word.
Of course, the God of the Christians is an alibi for robbery. As South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu put it: "They came; they had the bible and we had the land. They said to us: 'close your eyes and pray.' And when we opened our eyes, they had the land and we had the bible".
The modern state prefers the alibi of education. To save them from the darkness, the ignorant barbarians must be civilised. Today, as yesterday, racism transforms colonial robbery into an act of justice. The colonised is a subhuman, capable of superstition but not of religion, capable of folklore but not of culture; the subhuman gets the treatment s/he deserves adn the small value of their labour is appropriately rewarded. Colonial and neo-colonial pillage is justified by racism, Latin America treats the Indians in the same way as the great powers treat Latin America.
Gabriel Rene Moreno was one of Bolivia's most prestigious historians of the last century. To this day one of the country's universities bears his name. This illustrious representative of a nation's culture believed that "the Indians are donkeys who produce mules when they intermingle with the white race". He weighed native and mixed-race brains; these, his scales told him weighed five, six or seven ounces less than those of a white. He concluded that they were "cellularly incapable of grasping republican liberty".
Rene Moreno's Peruvian contemporary and colleague Ricardo Palma wrote that "the Indians are an abject and degenerate race". And the Argentine, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento used the following terms to describe the long struggle of the Araucanos Indians for their freedom: "They are more indomitable, that is to say more recalcitrant, and less apt for European civilisation and assimilation."
The most violent racism in the history of Latin America is found in the words of the most famous intellectuals of the end of the 19th century and in the deeds of the liberal politicians who founded the modern states. Sometimes they are of Indian origin, like Porfirio Diaz, the author of capitalist modernisation in Mexico who forbade Indians to walk in the main streets or sit in public parks unless they changed their cotton trousers for European style trousers and their sandals for shoes.
This was the period when Latin America became tied into the world market ruled over by the British Empire, an epoch of "scientific" contempt for the Indians which provided the excuse for the robbery of lands and labour.
The market demanded, for example, coffee and coffee demanded more then, for example, that Guatemala's liberal president, Justo Rufino Barrios, a progressive man, reintroduced colonial-style forced labour and offered his friends Indian land and abundant Indian labour.
The racism reached its paroxysm in countries such as Guatemala where the Indians remained in the majority despite the repeated waves of extermination.
To this day there is no worse paid workforce: Maya Indians get $0.65 for cutting a quintal of coffee or cotton or a tonne of sugarcane. The Indians cannot sow maize without military permission nor move elsewhere without a work permit. The army organises massive labour recruitment for the sowing and harvesting of products destined for export. In the plantations pesticides 50 times more toxic than tolerable limits are used; mothers' milk is the most contaminated in the Western world.
In complete impunity, it is officially recognised in Guatemala that 440 native settlements disappeared from the map between 1981 and 1983 in the course of a campaign of annihilation in which thousands of men and women were murdered or "disappeared". The cleanup in the mountains (operation "shaved earth") also led to the death of an incalculable number of children. The Guatemalan military are sure that the vice of rebellion is genetically transmitted.
But does this supposedly inferior race, condemned to vice and idleness, incapable of order and progress, deserve a better fate? Institutional violence is there to drive away any hesitation. Today's conquistadores no longer wear suits of armour but Vietnam war uniforms. They no longer have a white skin; they are mixed-race, brutally trained and obliged to carry out crimes that lead to their own death.
Some 1,200 years before Europeans mathematicians, this inferior race discovered the number zero. They knew the age of the universe with astonishing precision, a thousand years before the astronomers of our epoch.
The Mayas were always time travellers: "what is a man o the road? Time?"
Henry Ford's revelation
However they did not know that time is money, as Henry Ford revealed. Time, the foundation of space, seemed sacred to them like a daughter, the land, a son or a human being: like the land and like people time cannot be bought and sold. Civilisation has been doing its best to teach them otherwise.
History changes depending on who is telling the story. What for the Romans were "barbarian invasions" were for the Germans "southward emigration".
Until now the history of the Americas has not been told by the the Spanish conquest a Maya prophet, speaking in the name of the gods announced: "when greed comes to an end, the face, the hands and the feet of the world will be released". And when the mouth is released, what will it say? What will this other voice that has never been heard say?
From the point of view of the conquerors -- until now the only point of view presented -- the morals of the Indians have always been taken as proof of their possession by demons or of their biological inferiority. This had been the case from the first days of colonialism.
The Indians of the Caribbean killed themselves rather than do slave labour. This proved that they were lazy.
They went naked as if their body was their face. This showed that they were without shame.
They did not know about property rights, they shared everything and lacked the lust for wealth. This was because they were more like monkeys than humans.
They washed too often. This suggested a resemblance to the infidel Muslims, burned by the fires of the Inquisition.
They never hit their children and left them in freedom. They did not know how to administer punishment and lacked any doctrine.
They believed in dreams and obey voices. This is the influence of Satan or perhaps pure stupidity.
They ate when they were hungry and not at the proper mealtimes. Clearly, they have no control over their instincts.
They make love when they feel desire. Here it is the Devil impelling them to repeat original sin.
There is no stigma on homosexuality or special value put on virginity. This is because they line the antechamber to hell.
In 1523, the Indian chief Nicaragua asked the conquistadores, "and who elected your king?" He had been elected by the community elders.
Pre-Columbian America was vast and diverse with forms of democracy that Europe has never seen and that the world does not know even today. To reduce the reality of native America to the despotism of the Inca emperors or the bloody practices of the Aztec dynasty would be like seeing in the European Renaissance only the tyranny of its monarchs or the sinister ceremonies of the Inquisition.
In Guarini tradition, for example, the chiefs are elected by assemblies of women and men -- and they are chucked out if ir mandate. Among the Iroquois, men and women govern on an equal footing. Chiefs are men, but they are elected and deposed by women. Via the Council of Matrons they have decision-making power over the essential aspects of the life of the confederation. Around 1600 when the Iroquois men launched a war on their own initiative, the women staged a love strike. Shortly afterwards, the men, obliged to sleep alone, submitted to joint government.
In 1919, the Indian chief on the island of San Blas (near Panama) announced his triumph: "The Indian women no longer wear their (traditional) molas but civilised dresses".
He also announced that the women no longer painted their noses but their cheeks, as they should and that they no longer wore gold rings in their noses but in their ears, as was proper.
70 years after this the Kuna Indian women of our day still wear nose rings and wear their molas made of multi-coloured cloth blended with extraordinary imagination and beauty and are buried in them when they die.
In 1989, on the eve of the US invasion, General Manuel Noriega assured the world that Panama was a country that respected human rights. "We are a tribe", he explained.
The primitive tools of the Indian communities rendered fertile the deserts of the Andes chain. The modern technologies of the big private export-oriented estates have made deserts out of fertile lands, in the Andes and elsewhere.
It would be absurd to retreat five centuries in terms of productive techniques, but it is equally absurd to overlook the catastrophes produced by a system which forces human beings, razes the forests, violates the land and poisons the rivers to obtain the maximum wealth in the minimum time. Is it not absurd to sacrifice nature and people on the altar of the international market? This is our absurdity -- and we accept it as if it were fate.
A sense of community
So-called primitive cultures are always dangerous because they retain their common sense. Common sense, by a natural extension, gives us a sense of community. If the air belongs to all, how can the land be private property? If we come from the earth and return to it, is it not a crime against the earth a crime against us? The land is birthplace and tomb, mother and companion. It receives the first mouthful and we give it rest and protect it from erosion.
The system despises what it doesn't understand because it refuses to recognise what it fears to know. Racism is thus also a mask for fear.
What do we know about the native cultures? What we see in Wild we know of the African cultures? What we have been told by Professor Tarzan.
At the end of the last century an English doctor John Down identified the syndrome that bears his name. He believed that the alteration of the chromosomes implied "a return to inferior races" producing mongoloid idiots, negroid idiots and aztec idiots.
At the same time an Italian doctor, Cesare Lombroso gave the "born criminal" the features of blacks and Indians.
Thus the prejudice that Indians and blacks were naturally inclined to crime and mental deficiency was fitted out with a scientific basis. Indians and blacks, traditionally instruments of labour became objects of science.
In the epoch of Lombrosos and Down a Brazilian doctor Raimundo Nina Rodrigues (who was a mulatto) came to the conclusion that "the mixing of blood perpetrates the character of the inferior races" so that "the black race will always be a factor in our inferiority as a people". This psychiatrist was the first researcher of African origin into the Brazilian culture. He studied the latter as if it were a clinical case -- with the black religions as a pathology, its trances a sign of hysteria.
Shortly after, an Argentine doctor, the socialist Jose Ingenerios wrote that "the blacks, ignominious slag of the human race are closer to apes than to civilised whites". To demonstrate their irremediable inferiority Ingenerios stated that "the blacks have no religious ideas".
In fact, religious ideas crossed the sea with the black slaves. They had to take refuge under the guise of white saints where they survived to help millions of people violently torn from Africa and sold as things. Ogum, the god of fire, reappeared as Saint George, Saint Anthony or Saint Michael while Shango, with his thunder and lightening became Jesus Christ and Oshun, divinity of calm waters was the virgin of the candles.
These Gods were forbidden in the colonies of all the imperial powers. In the English Caribbean, after the abolition of slavery, it was still forbidden to play the tambour or African wind instruments and the mere fact of owning an image of any African god meant prison.
Dark skin was the cloak of in corrigible faults. Thus social inequality, which is also racial, is provided with an alibi by human imperfections.
Two hundred years ago Humboldt noted that the whole of America works like this: the pyramid of the social classes is dark at the base and light at the top. In Brazil for example racial democracy means that the whites are on the top and the blacks on the bottom.
James Baldwin wrote about the blacks in the United States: "When went north we did not find freedom. We found the worst jobs on the labour market and we are still there".
An Indian from northern Argentina, Asuncion Ontiveros Yulquila has recounted the trauma of his youth: "Good and beautiful people were those who looked like Jesus and the Virgin. But my father and mother did not in any way look like the images of Jesus and the Virgin that I saw in the church at Abra Pampa".
Fundamental values miraculously preserved
Biological fatalism, which stigmatises the "inferior races", congenitally condemned to idleness, violence and poverty, does more than simply prevent us from seeing the real roots of our troubles. It also prevents us from recognising fundamental values miraculously preserved by these despised cultures and still more or less embodied by them despite centuries of persecution, humiliation and degradation. These fundamental values are not museum exhibits. They are historical factors, indispensable if we are to invent an America not divided into masters and slaves.
A short while ago, the Spanish priest Ignacio Ellacuria (a Jesuit assassinated by the army in 1989) told me that he thought the story of the discovery of America was absurd. The oppressor is incapable of discovery "it is the oppressed who discovers the oppressor".
He believed that the oppressor cannot even discover himself. That reality also is only visible to the oppressed.
Ignacio Ellacuria was shot.
Adam Quraishi - 4/23/2006
Shocked. Embarrased. How could this article ever have got on to a History network. It was rude, extremely biased, and very twisted. Very different than the article in the Washington Post which brought the important problem to light with Ms. Shebbaz's assertation.
For exmples, let's see:
Mr. Yeagley Said:
"Alas, exotic sexuality may be in her professional style. Last year Shabbas spoke at San Francisco University High School’s “Global Awareness” evening, which included homosexual advocacy. She has shown no offense by the association. One thing is certain: Shabbas thinks feminism is advocated in the Qur’an. Now that’s super sexual fantasy!"
So Homosexuality is a form of erotic sexuality is his claim, or that be participating in a Global Awareness evening that you automatically agree with all points presented. In fact, that association is enough to have a "super sexual fantasy"!
He also says:
"...but she promises to give “careful and thoughtful attention” to how exactly to break the news that she lied to all the trusting teachers who were given copies of the text."
Note how "careful and thoughtful attention" can be seen as a lie.
"A liberal advocacy group in Washington recently committed intellectual genocide on American Indians"
Come on - genocide?!! Maybe you should go witness a real genocide Mr. Yeagley before you play with that word so carelessly.
- Indentured Students: Elizabeth Tandy Shermer on Student Debt (Monday, October 4)
- The Last Good Neighbor: Mexico in the Global Sixties (Washington History Seminar, Mon. 9/27)
- Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience (Thursday, 9/23)
- Traveling Black: Mia Bay Joins the Washington History Seminar, September 20
- Why are Historians Facing Online Abuse Over Whether Atlantis Existed?