How Neil Armstrong "became" a Muslim
Syed Kamran Mirza
Neil Armstrong :Standing on the Moon
The question: “Is Neil Armstrong, The First Human to land on the Moon, A Muslim?” To answer this Question, I can only say that, this news is simply a ‘Hoax’ and another crude manifestation of false pride by Muslim (Mullahs) wishful thinkers.
Birth of this strange rumour
This ridiculous ‘hoax’ has two different versions:
(a) On hearing Azaan
‘When Louis Armstrong walked on the moon, he heard sounds in a strange language which he did not understand. Only later, after returning to earth, did he realize that it was actually the azaan’
‘While on the moon, Neil Armstrong heard a peculiar sound but he could not recognize what it was. When Neil Armstrong went to Egypt, he heard the adhan, and said, “it was spacey something similar I heard while I was on the moon". Egyptian Friend told him that, it was the sound of Azaan (call for Muslim prayer). And Neil Armstrong immediately became Muslim because of this experience.’
(b) By witnessing a long (from one end to other end) crack on moon surface.
Second version is the one Mr.Akbar mentioned in his write-up, that is, “When he (Armstrong) was scouting the moon for information, he noticed a large and long (from one end to other end) crack on the surface of the moon. According to Neil Armstrong this crack matched with and was a confirmation of the story of the dividing of the moon in half by Prophet Muhammad. He was so stunned with the proof that he himself saw that immediately on return to earth he converted to Islam.”
Comment: Muslim apologists perhaps did not have any idea about the size of the moon. Otherwise, how could have they imagined that, Neil Armstrong actually visited entire moon to observe the long crack throughout the moon surface? It reminds me Bengali proverb: Parbi ta Parbi eka bare malliir ghare ? Or in case of Neil Armstrong: Parbi ta Parbi eka bare Chader juraate jeye parbi? What a wishful make-up of story!
Following letters have been found from the ANSWERING ISLAM Home Page
In the following some statements about this issue, authorized by Mr. Armstrong, to speak on his behalf.
NEIL A. ARMSTRONG
LEBANON, OHIO 45036
Mr. Phil Parshall Director
Asian Research Center
Fellowship 29524 Bobrich
Livonia, Michigan 48152
Dear Mr. Parshall:
Mr. Armstrong has asked me to reply to your letter and to thank you for the courtesy of your inquiry. The reports of his conversion to Islam and of hearing
the voice of Adzan on the moon and elsewhere are all untrue.
Several publications in Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries have published these reports without verification. We apologize for any inconvenience that this ncompetent journalism may have caused you.
Subsequently, Mr. Armstrong agreed to participate in a telephone interview, reiterating his reaction to these stories. I am enclosing copies of the United States
State Department's communications prior to and after that interview.
Comments: In our possession is a photocopy of this letter which is identical in text to the above, except that the street address and phone number of Mr. Armstrong contained in that copy are deleted. The above also shows where this idea came from, that Mr. Armstrong supposedly lives in Lebanon. Yes, Lebanon is true, yet this "Lebanon" is not in the Middle East, but in the Midwest of the United States of America.
A statement by the US State Department sent to all embassies and consulates in the Islamic world:
P 04085 0Z MAR 83 ZEX
FM SECSTATE WASHD C
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS PRIORITY
UNCLAS STATE 056309
FOLLOWING REPEAT SENT ACTION ALL EAST ASIAN AND
PACIFIC DIPLOMATIC POSTS DID MAR 02.
QUOTE: UNCLAS STATE 056309
E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, US, ID
SUBJECT: ALLEGED CONVERSION OF ENIL ARMSTRONG TO ISLAM
REF: JAKARTA 3081 AND 2374 (NOT ..)
1. FORMER ASTRONAUT NEIL ARMSTRONG, NOW IN PRIVATE
BUSINESS, HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF PRESS REPORTS IN
EGYPT, MALAYSIA AND INDONESIA (AND PERHAPS ELSEWHERE)
ALLEGING HIS CONVERSION TO ISLAM DURING HIS LANDING ON
THE MOON IN 1969. AS A RESULT OF SUCH REPORTS,
ARMSTRONG HAS RECEIVED COMMUNICATIONS FROM INDIVIDUALS
AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS, AND A FEELER FROM AT LEAST
ONE GOVERNMENT, ABOUT HIS POSSIBLE PARTICIPATION IN
2. WHILE STRESSING HIS STRONG DESIRE NOT TO OFFEND
ANYONE OR SHOW DISRESPECT FOR ANY RELIGION, ARMSTRONG
HAS ADVISED DEPARTMENT THAT REPORTS OF HIS CONVERSION
TO ISLAM ARE INACCURATE.
3. IF POST RECEIVE QUERIES ON THIS MATTER, ARMSTRONG
REQUESTS THAT THEY POLITELY BUT FIRMLY INFORM QUERYING
PARTY THAT HE HAS NOT CONVERTED TO ISLAM AND HAS NO
CURRENT PLANS OR DESIRE TO TRAVEL OVERSEAS TO
PARTICIPATE IN ISLAMIC RELIGOUS ACTIVITIES.
Furthermore, the following letter to the editor was printed in the Journal Arabia, The Islamic World Review, Issue June 1985/Ramadan 1405, page 5:
A MUSLIM OVER THE MOON?
Arabia is by far the superior newsmagazine regarding what is going on in the Muslim world today. Your reporting is extremely thorough and seeks to be as objective as
possible. Your willingness to criticise political policies as well as religious happenings in the Muslim world is refreshing. As an American I would feel your slant on the West is basically fair. It would be most helpful if you would dispel a misconception prevalent in almost all Muslim countries. From Morocco to the
Philippines it is commonly believed that Neil Armstrong heard the Azan on the moon, converted to Islam and is now engaged in the full-time propagation of the Muslim faith.
The US State Department has issued a memo saying that the story about Armstrong's conversion was untrue. The memo said "While stressing his strong desire not to offend anyone or show disrespect for any religion, Armstrong has advised department that reports of his conversion to Islam are inaccurate." The memo further says, "if post receives queries on this matter, Armstrong requests that they politely but firmly inform querying party that he has not converted to Islam and has no current plans or desires to travel overseas to participate in Islamic religious activities."
N.B. The memo was sent to all our diplomatic and consular posts.
Dr Phil Parshall
Director, Asian Research Centre Manila, Philippines
This rumor perhaps was first started sometimes in early 1980’s and since then, this rumor was surfacing every other month or so on the Islamic newsgroup, making more colorful fake stories to make it more convincing to ordinary Muslims all over the world. This wishful mullahs spread this rumour to compensate the tremendous insult they felt first, when an American “Kafir” set his feet on the moon and has made the “Pabitra Cha’nd” A’pabitra (impure) . After a brief period of their insult/injury because of this unimaginable (at least by Muslims) episode, these wishful mullahs made-up this rumor simply to boast/rejuvenate Islam and to keep ‘Darma Bebosha’ alive.
As we know, superstitions/rumors are very popular commodities amongst the illiterate society. And all most all the Muslim countries having 50-80% illiterate/half-educated devout Muslim populations are natural fertile ground for speedy propagation of such rumours. Since Americans landed on the moon, every time I went to Bangladesh, I always faced questions regarding this Armstrong/Muslim issue. And I heard questions from both (Azaan and Crack on the moon surface) angles of the runour. When I said, “this is a pure hoax and I never heard it in America”, questioners never believed me. They wanted to hear ‘YES’ from me. They were disappointed with me.
Sadly, as documented above, this rumor still goes round and round in the Islamic world, over a decade after it has been denied over and over again. Not only in mouth to mouth propaganda but it is even spread by Muslim radio stations.
Other baseless “hoaxes” presently available in the market are: Jaques Cousteau, Michael Jackson, Maurice Bucaille, King Offa of England and, Mike Tison became Muslim. Christian apologists discovered wreckage of Noah’s ark in turkey, Prophet Muhammad’s name on a piece of wood from Noah’s ark (found in Russia) ,and Prophet Muhammad’s name foretold in Hindu Scriptures. ALL THESE ARE SIMPLY BOGUS SPECULATIONS.
In South East Asian Countries, especially in Bangladesh, “rumours/hoaxes” are frequent business to cheat ordinary peoples, to stimulate ‘pir’ bebosha, Tabiz bebosha and, to solidify the faith of believers. For the same vested purposes, rumors are generated almost weekly such as: Allah's and Rasul's names printed in: Tomato, Lao (kadu), piece of meat, over the egg-shell, over a fish etc. etc. Surprisingly, there are no shortage of people who actually believe these garbage.
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