UI – Part 652 – How Muslims Caused the Discovery of America
Europe in Need
In the 15th century Europe went through a number of changes impacting its population, trading, and the needs of its citizens. Farmers were mostly tenant farmers who could not produce to meet all demands of a growing population, resulting in malnutrition. Climate change also had an impact limiting growing seasons, which did not help to produce food needed to feed all the people. Another impact was trading routes to the known parts of the world, to the east from Europe, were impacted by the presence of the Muslim population, the Ottoman empire. Trade from Asia was thus reduced and the need arose to find other trade routes. One was heading west to find a new passage to Asia. That involved crossing the Atlantic, always viewed as a dark, dangerous, wasteland of ocean, with little information to guide travelers, thus they were the explorers that ventured into the abyss.
Explorers, such as Columbus (pictured), set out seeking a route to Asia. In the late 15th century he reached land (1492 so the story is told), islands, but they were not Asian. They were the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic. The Spaniards had arrived, bringing with them viruses unknown to the natives. This caused a tragic spread of disease and death.
Others followed such as Amerigo Vespucci, a merchant and explorer-navigator from Florence, Magellan, and John Cabot. They contributed to the discovery and mapping what is America. So although an efficient trade route to Asia heading west from Europe was not found, a new world, new lands, were. It was a resource rich area from which items could be shipped to Europe and sold. Items included foods, initially tobacco and cotton, but also grains, which were needed to feed the European population. It was a land of opportunity, with great expanses available to entrepreneurial farmers and traders.
Amerigo Vespucci is the explorer from whom America got its name.
The Muslim Dam
The impediment Muslims presented European traders and businessmen formed a dam over which travel or transport was riddled with conflict, and death to any that were not Muslim. From the 10th and 11th century Crusades the Turks grew to dominate the Muslim world, from Turkey, to include parts of the Balkans, south traversing the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, and along the northern cost of Africa, to include Egypt, and Arabia. Eastward destinations to find land for crops, and trade routes to bring items such as fabrics, silks, and spices or teas to Europe, China a prime source, were too risky. The hatred of the Muslims towards non-Muslims, and their love of white women too great, Europe had to look elsewhere.
In addition Muslims from the southern shores of the Mediterranean, efficient sailors, found profit in white slavery. The Berbers would find harbors in Europe and Great Britain where they could anchor, sneak ashore, and capture thousands to be brought to northern African, as slaves, concubines or for ransom. It was Allah’s will and these Muslims did Allah’s bidding. There was also an African slave trade, black leaders in areas such as what is today Angola took advantage of their people and sold them into the slave trade, initially to the Muslims, and when the Portuguese took command of the African west coast, they were then shipped to areas from Europe to the newly discovered New World, America.
The growth of Islam after Muhammad’s death was rapid and within 100-150 years areas now referred to as the Middle East, northern Africa, Libya to Morocco and parts south, as Nigeria and Egypt, were dominated by Muslims. Others were exterminated or tolerated for the financial and resource benefits they could provide, or enslaved as servants or for sex. Areas today as Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan were also in the realm of Islam. As centuries past the Muslim population grew becoming an Empire, the Ottoman Empire, from the northern border of Russia to the Indian Ocean. Traversing the region, heading East, was fraught with the hatred and blood lust of barbaric Islamists, the Turks, Selkirk’s, Berbers, Arabs, and others whose thirst for treasure, conversion, dominance stopped the flow of trade across this land. It was as a dam on the western edge of the Ottoman Sea, a sea, a landmass, covered with the blood of hundreds of thousands of Christians, explorers, traders and non-Muslim citizens that resisted, or dissented, the habits of the Islamic heathens. Travel via Russia was too harsh.
In the 14th – 15th Centuries the Portuguese and Dutch became significant traders, their fleets of ships traveling around the coast of Africa and east to India and Indonesia. Colonies of Dutch and Portuguese were formed. As Great Britain grew so did their naval fleet and conflicts, disputes, even engagements to take control of the water routes to Asia occurred. India became Britain’s crown jewel. All this due to the difficulty of travel through Muslim controlled conflict zones. it was Vasco de Gama who first traveled under the flag of Portugal to India in the late 1400’s (1490 or so). In 1524 da Gama (pictured) was appointed Governor.
To the West across the Atlantic the explorers traversed to find new avenues to Asia for trade. America was discovered. At the same time to the East, via and around the coast of Africa and then across the Indian ocean seafaring powers brought other European powers to India. All due to the obstacle imposed by an Empire of Muslims.
Above is a map in the 1400s showing the Ottoman empire in tan or orange. The Muslims controlled the land mass, preventing travel by non-Muslims, to include the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean was dangerous to trade and travel as the Berbers and other Muslim manned vessels and pirated the entirety of this sea.
Let this information also add to an understanding of the discovery of America. It was the explorers from Spain, Portugal and England, and we cannot forget Leif Erikson, that discovered the New World. Africans were not seeking a new world nor exploring, nor were the Muslims. But it was the Muslims that enabled the discovery of new lands, a new world, new sea routes and discoveries of significant resources. Had they allowed for peace and open trade routes across the expanse of land they dominated such discoveries may not have occurred for centuries. Had they not had such hatred, even to this day, much of the free world would not exist. God had a plan. It was better than Allah’s.
Grace and Peace