Simon Moya-Smith: A new tale of 'discovery' of the Americas

President Barack Obama hosts a meeting with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a NATO summit in September. Photo from Glenn Fawcett / Department of Defense / Flickr

Writer Simon Moya-Smith takes on a tall tale from Turkey, courtesy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- did Muslims "discover" America before Christopher Columbus?
“What are you writing?” the man at the bar asked me.

“A piece on Turkey’s president who recently said Muslims – not Columbus – discovered America.”

“Well …. did they?”

“Of course not!” I blurted. “And neither did the Jews.”

“So it was Columbus, then. …”

“No, goddamn it! None of them did. How the hell can you discover something when people are already here? …. Right?”

12:30 A.M. SEA WITCH PUB, BROOKLYN, NY: I’m the only jackass in this joint with a laptop at this hour. The bright white light of the screen is a spotlight on my skull. Sitting alone. Loud, cacophonous laughter at the bar. Don’t want to think about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He’s a braggart and a despot. And now more bundled fun-seekers trundle in the place, escaping the fierce cold of the autumn eve outside. Yes, Erdogan has had enough of Christians. Now he’s after the Catholic patron saint of false discovery, and this won’t sit well with the Italians in north Denver or Irish priests with busy hands.

Get the Story:
Simon Moya-Smith: Muslims and Columbus and Thanksgiving (Indian Country Today 12/1)

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