Did Muslim sailors discover the New World?

The recent interest in Cuba has renewed a discussion of the Muslim faith in America, including a claim that Muslim sailors discovered the continent in the 12th century.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is interested in building a mosque in Havana, a proposal that has so far not been accepted by the Cuban government, saying "The religion of Islam was widespread before Columbus. Muslim sailors had arrived in the shores of America in 1178. In his diaries, Christopher Columbus referred to the presence of a mosque on top of a mountain in Cuba."

While the statement has been debunked, there is some evidence that Islam pre-dated Christianity in the New World, claims "Harvard academic Barry Fell, who claimed that some of the ancient engravings in the Americas resembled Muslim fonts."