Today is Wednesday; 26th of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 27th of the Islamic month of Muharram 1442 lunar hijri; and September 16, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
522 solar years ago, on this day in 1498 AD the notorious Tomas de Torquemada, who as Grand Inquisitor of Spain, imprisoned, tortured, killed and forcibly converted to the Catholic sect of Christianity, tens of thousands of Moriscos or Spanish Muslims, as well as Marranos or Jews pretending to be Christians in public but practicing Judaism in their homes, died a humiliating death in Avila, Spain, after a prolonged illness. He is such a hated figure in Spanish history that his tomb was ransacked in 1832 – two years before the Inquisition was officially disbanded. His bones were dug out and ritually incinerated, in the same manner as he used to burn people alive at the stake. Of Jewish ancestry, as a close confidante of the bigotedly murderous Queen Isabella of Castile, he was the chief supporter of the Alhambra Decree of 1492 that violated the terms of the Treaty of Granada concluded the year before with the Nasrid Emir at the final surrender of the Muslim state of al-Andalus mandating protection of religious rights of the remaining Muslim population.
284 solar years ago, on this day in 1736 AD, German-Dutch physicist and inventor of the thermometer, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, died at the age of 50. He lived in Holland most of his life, and in 1714 invented the mercury thermometer by developing the Fahrenheit temperature scale. For the zero of his scale he used the temperature of an equal ice-salt mixture; 30° for the freezing point of water; and 90° for normal body temperature. Later, he adjusted to 32° for the freezing point of water and 212° for the boiling point of water, the interval between the two being divided into 180 parts.
210 solar years ago, on this day in 1810 AD, Mexicans publicly called for the end of Spanish rule. Mexican Independence Day celebrates this event. Mexico’s revolt against Spain, started with from meetings of the literary and social club of Queretaro (now a central state of Mexico), which included the priest, the mayor of the town, and a local military captain named Ignacio Allende. They believed that New Spain should be governed by the Creoles or the locally born citizens of Spanish ancestry rather than those sent by Spain to head the administration.
136 lunar years ago, on this day in 1306 AH, the renowned scholar, Ayatollah Mullah Ali Kani, passed away in Tehran. He mastered Arabic literature and learned Islamic sciences, especially theology at the seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq, under the celebrated Ayatollah Shaikh Morteza Ansari. On attaining Ijtehad – or independent reasoning on the basis of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith on modern issues – he returned to Iran, and took an active role in the struggle against the despotism of Qajarid kings. He wrote several books.
125 solar years ago, on this day in 1895 AD, Malaysian scholar Zain al-Abedin Ahmad was born. He modernized the Malay language with the publication of a series of grammar books entitled "Pelita Bahasa” in 1936. The book modernized the structure of the classical Malay language and became the basis for Malayo that is in use today. The most important change was in syntax, from the classical passive form to the modern active form.
89 solar years ago, on this day in 1931 AD, the leader of the Libyan people’s struggles against colonial rule, Omar al-Mukhtar, was executed by his Italian captors at the age of 72, after 23 years of armed resistance against the European invaders. Born in the village of Janzour, near Tobruk in eastern Barqa, in Tripolitania Province of the Ottoman Empire, he was orphaned as a child and was adopted by Sharif al-Ghariani, a member of the political-religious Senussi Sufi Movement. After early education at the mosque, he studied for eight years at the Senussi University at Jaghbub, and in 1899 was sent to Chad to assist Rabih az-Zubayr against the French. In October 1911, during the Italian-Turkish War, an Italian naval force appeared on the shores of Libya and demanded the surrender of the country. The Turks and their Libyan allies withdrew to the countryside instead of surrendering, and the Italians bombarded the cities of Tripoli and Benghazi for three days, marking the beginning of a series of battles with the Libyan people of Cyrenaica led by Omar Mukhtar. Skilled in desert warfare, he was a thorn in the side of the Italians until he was ambushed, wounded and captured on 11th September 1931. Five days later the terrified Italian occupiers, having failed to subdue the Islamic spirit of this scholar of the holy Qur’an, hanged him.
88 solar years ago, on this day in 1932 AD, British physician Ronald Ross, who located the malarial parasite in the gut of the Anopheles mosquito died in London at the age 75. Born in Almora in northern India, he made a key breakthrough when he discovered malaria parasites while dissecting a mosquito in the Secunderabad suburb of Haiderabad in the Muslim kingdom of the Deccan (southern India). After two years of research failure, in July 1897, he managed to culture 20 adult "brown” mosquitoes from collected larvae. He successfully infected the mosquitoes from a patient named Hussain Khan. After blood-feeding, he dissected the mosquito and found an "almost perfectly circular” cell from the gut, which was certainly not of the mosquito. On 20 August he confirmed the presence of the malarial parasite inside the gut of mosquito, which he named "dappled-wings” and which later turned out to be species of the genus Anopheles. He thus managed to save millions of people worldwide. In later work, in West Africa, he also determined the mosquito species carrying the deadly African fever.
57 solar years ago, on this day in 1963 AD, Malaysia was formed from the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak, with Tunku Abdur-Rahman as prime minister. Singapore, however, soon left this new country. The establishment of Malaysia was bitterly opposed by Indonesia, which refused to recognize the country and waged a guerrilla war against it.
45 solar years ago, on this day in 1975 AD, Papua-New Guinea gained independence. The first Europeans to occupy it were the Dutch, followed by the British. Half of this large Pacific island was handed over to Australia in 1906 by Britain while the other half came under German occupation, until the Nazi defeat in War 2 when it was placed under the UN.
38 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, the illegal Zionist entity, along with its Phalangist agents in Lebanon, massacred over 5,000 old men, women and children in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in southern Lebanon. The evil mind behind the bloodcurdling slaughter was Israeli war minister, Ariel Sharon. An ethnic German, born to Lithuanian parents illegally residing in Palestine, his crimes against humanity got him the post of prime minister of the usurper state of Israel. In January 2006, divine wrath struck him in the form of a brain stroke, and for eight years he lay in coma, with most of the brain becoming fluid, before his death.
13 solar years ago, in 2007 AD, the International Ozone Day was celebrated on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol, following the designation of September 16 as the International Day for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, by the UN. By 2007, 191 countries had signed the environmental protocol, under which there was to be a phase out of the production and consumption of ozone depleting chemicals.
13 solar years ago, on this day in 2007 AD, American terrorists working for the notorious Blackwater Company shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, and injured scores of others. Following outrage in Iraq and the Muslim World, a kangaroo trial was held in the US but soon all criminal charges against the killers were dropped and they were freed.
6 solar years ago, on this day in 2014 AD, Iranian novelist, Ahmad Bigdeli, died at the age of 69 of a heart attack in Shahr-e Kord, where he was invited to judge a story writing competition. Born in Ahvaz, he published his first story in Ferdowsi literary magazine in 1968. He authored several award winning works such as "A Night outside Home”, "I Was Destroyed”, "A Time to Hide”, "A Sound of Whale” and "A Little Shadow”. He was buried in Nafajabad, near Isfahan.
4 solar years ago, on this day in 2016 AD, a top Iranian athlete and veteran of the Iraqi imposed war, Bahman Golbarnezhad, died at the age of 48 in an accident during the 2016 Summer Paralympics’ men’s C4-5 road cycling event in Brazil. He suffered a head injury as a result of a collision with a rock on a mountainous stretch of the circuit in Pontal, western Rio de Janeiro. Born in Abadan, and having lost a leg in defence of the country during the 8-year US-imposed war, he had represented Iran in two Summer Paralympic Games. Earlier, during his powerlifting career, he had won twelve gold medals and one silver medal in international competitions. He was also a prominent wrestler.