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Muslims discovered earth is round: Turkey's science minister
Tuesday December 2, 2014 8:34 AM, Agencies

Turkish Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Işık while addressing a group of businessmen in Konya Friday claimed it was Muslim scientists who discovered that the earth is round.


Stating that the Islamic world had shaped the world in many aspects, he gave examples of leading Muslim discoveries.

"Even 700 to 800 years before Galileo, 71 Muslim scientists led by al-Khwarizmi came together at the order of Caliph al-Ma'mun and revealed that the earth is round," the minister is quoted as saying by

"While Europe was deep into the darkness of the Middle Ages, Islamic scholars created inventions that shaped the future of the world," he said.

Although the minister implied that Galileo discovered the Earth was round, the issue is a matter of controversy among scientists who think the discovery dates back to before Aristotle. Galileo is known to have theorized that the Earth and other planets revolve around the sun.

The minister's statements come on the heels of a controversy kicked off by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said on Nov. 15 that it was Muslims who first discovered America.

"Latin America's contact with Islam dates back to the 12th century. Muslims discovered America in 1178, not Christopher Columbus. Muslim sailors arrived in America in 1178.

"Christopher Columbus mentions the existence of a mosque on a hill along the Cuban coast. I will talk to my brothers in Cuba and a mosque would suit the top of that hill today as well. We would build it if they [the Cuban government] say so. Islam had expanded to the [North] American continent before Columbus arrived," Erdoğan said.

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