For our first blog on shattering myths regarding science and history facts we have decided to go with the all-time favourite: the moon landing.
There are two conspiracy theories associated with this. The first one is very popular with the Muslim community and states that Neil Armstrong heard the Muslim call to prayer on the moon and subsequently became a Muslim.
Neil Armstrong did not hear the Azan or become a Muslim. This hoax is just not willing to die. First surfacing in the 1980s, the main point that the believers of this hoax like to make is that he never denied it. This is not true. Armstrong was a very private person and did not want to talk about his private life, much less his religious faith. He kept a low profile after his return from the Apollo 11 mission and turned down most requests for interviews and public appearances. In the 1950s he gave his religious affiliation as deist. Finally, in 1983 he allowed the State Department to speak on his behalf and there is an actual notification from them to embassies and consulates in Muslim countries denying idiotic claim. His remains were cremated, which would not have happened if he were a Muslim.
His administrative aid, Vivian White, wrote a letter to the Director Asian Research Centre International Christian Fellowship, denying the claim. All of these can be easily found with a simple Google search.
In Armstrong’s official 2005 biography First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, he states in his own words that the conversion rumours are false.
“I have found that many organizations claim me as a member, for which I am not a member, and a lot of different families — Armstrong families and others — make connections, many of which don’t exist. So many people identify with the success of Apollo. The claim about my becoming a Muslim is just an extreme version of people inevitably telling me they know somebody whom I might know.”
Later on he explicitly denied these rumours during a visit to Malaysia, explicitly deny that there was any truth behind the claim that he also heard the Muslim call to prayer on the moon, and the transcript and audio of the moon landing itself contradict the claim that “strange” sounds or words were ever heard.
There is enough empirical evidence to disprove this ridiculous hoax; it is time it is killed off.