Monday, October 08, 2007

Happy Columbus Day?

Today, Federal offices are closed due to Columbus Day. Have you ever asked yourself why Columbus Day became a national holiday when Christopher Columbus never set foot in North America?

And not only did he never set foot in North America, he never meant to reach the Western Hemisphere at all. He got lost while trying to find an alternative route to India relating to the spice trade. Spices at that time were highly prized commodities in business commerce.

Europeans landed in the Americas long before Columbus' accidental discovery; Scandinavians landed in North America almost 4 centuries prior. There is written and anthropological evidence that Muslims had landed in the Americas almost 2 centuries prior to the "Vikings." How can one discover a land where people had already explored and people had already resided in for centuries?

The year in which Columbus stumbled across America, in 1492, was the same year that the Spanish Inquisition against Jews and Muslims was in full swing.

Columbus' comments regarding Jews and Muslims to Ferdinand and Isabella:

"YOUR HIGHNESSES, as Catholic Christians and Princes who love the holy Christian faith, and the propagation of it, and who are enemies to the sect of Mahoma [Islam] and to all idolatries and heresies, resolved to send me, Cristóbal Colon, to the said parts of India to see the said princes ... with a view that they might be converted to our holy faith … Thus, after having turned out all the Jews from all your kingdoms and lordships ... your Highnesses gave orders to me that with a sufficient fleet I should go to the said parts of India .... I shall forget sleep, and shall work at the business of navigation, so that the service is performed."

And of course, Columbus was keen on the enslavement of the native people of America as well. It is also well chronicled that Columbus and his men hunted the Natives in Haiti like they were wild game.

In light of this, should Columbus Day be a Federal holiday on par with MLK Day? And what message was being sent by classifying Columbus Day as a national holiday to begin with?

1 comment:

George Carty said...

Was the Spanish Inquisition's persecution of Jews motivated not just by religious intolerance, but also by the fact that the Jews had been a pro-Muslim fifth column* during the original Muslim invasion of Spain in the 8th century?

*I don't blame them though, for seeking an opportunity to escape from Visigothic slavery!

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