I’m Not Late, I’m On Mecca Time: Muslim Scientists and Clerics Call for Replacement of Greenwich Mean Time with Mecca Mean Time

Muslim scientists and clerics have called for the replacement of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) with Mecca Mean Time given the more central location of the holy city on Earth. Of course, given yesterday’s report of the Human Rights Watch on Saudi treatment of women, here. MMT could mean making time move backwards.

The call for Mecca time came in a conference at Qatar called “Mecca, the Centre of the Earth, Theory and Practice.” The argument is that Mecca is perfectly aligned with the magnetic north and certainly better located than Greenwich.

On one level, the scholars have a point about GMT. It was a byproduct of British colonialism and dominance at the time. Originally, British mariners kept at least one timepiece on GMT in order to calculate their longitude from the Greenwich meridian, click here. In reality, GMT no longer refers to actual solar mean time in Greenwich.

The problem with such conferences is the mix of religion and science to push such notions. Clerk Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawy, said modern science had at last provided evidence that Mecca was the true centrer of the Earth. He insists that this science reaffirms the Muslim “qibla” – the direction Muslims turn to when they pray.

A French muslim has even developed a watch that is said to rotate anti-clockwise — that would explain the state of civil liberties in Saudi Arabia.

For the full story, click here.

20 thoughts on “I’m Not Late, I’m On Mecca Time: Muslim Scientists and Clerics Call for Replacement of Greenwich Mean Time with Mecca Mean Time”

  1. One small technical nit. Only astronomers use GMT. Everyone else uses UTC (Universal Coordinated Time. The flipped ordering is because the acronym is in French.) More precisely, one of the precisely defined substandards of UTC.

    There is an important difference. GMT is based on astronomical measurements and is sensitive to changes in the earth’s rotation. UTC is based on a consensus of atomic clocks and does not have the same random drift. The difference between them is why we occasionally have leap seconds.

    Ah, leap seconds. If you want to see high passions over arcane subjects, look at leap seconds. They do matter when you’re dealing with things like the massive communications cables that span oceans. Some people want to get rid of them entirely, other people want to schedule them every 18 months (‘needed or not’), and the astronomers want to keep UTC within 0.6 seconds of GMT even if it drives the computer people up the wall.

  2. Jill:

    It’s just dunder’s half-witted insult to lawyers,; your comment was only incidental to that purpose. What he doesn’t realize is that lawyers aren’t always certain of their client’s positions, but they have an ethical obligation to advocate for positions they may or may
    not agree with. Dunder (short for dunderhead, I am sure) believes lawyers ride about the countryside advocating controversial ideas on a whim to upset the stolid little mindset that he and his conservative brethren have calcified into. Nothing could be farther from the truth, but when you see the world in stark black and white, anyone that upsets your apple cart is, by definition, evil incarnate. By the way, I am thinking of starting a used bodily organ business. I plan to start by harvesting brains of conservatives because of the “low mileage” on them despite their age.

  3. Dunder,

    I’m sorry, I just don’t understand your analogy. Religionists of every stripe are willing to kill people who do not agree with them. Deeply religious people (by which I mean thoughtful, kind people who try to live a good life) would never agree with this action, but most religionists (by which I mean unquestioning power mongers who do not care about others at all) do. Each group of religionists claims that their beliefs, and their beliefs alone are the truth and anyone who does not believe in their “truth” is worthy of persecution up to and including death. All religions that claim absolute truth cannot be right. Who then is right? After one determines who is right, what is the justification for the oppression of other beliefs and non-believers. Those are my questions. They are serious questions, based on present day and historical bloodletting/cruelty by religionist of all stripes who believe in the absolute “truths” of their religion.

    These questions cannot be deflected by references to attorneys. There is certainly room for criticism of attorneys but it is not related to my points.


  4. jill writes: “My reason for bringing it up was that there are so many religions with absolute certainty about the truth of their own claims and the falsity of other religions’ claims.”

    You could just as well write: “My reason for bringing it up was that there are so many attorneys with absolute certainty about the truth of their own claims and the falsity of other attorney’s claims.”

  5. Jill:

    I think another reality show might be “Big Big Brother (BBB),” where Bibleman and Marshmallowman live together in BBB’s house and, at his expense, plot ways to control the minds of infidels deluded into believing other religions. Then they could eliminate a rival religion every week by simply snapping their heels together and vanquishing the religion’s exemption from federal taxes. Of course, for an elimination challenge, they could “eliminate” an atheist every week using now forgotten techniques like the “Iron Maiden,” “Breaking Wheel,” and the “Brazen Bull.” Maybe Dick Cheney could guest judge a round or two!

  6. I like it! Then, on to reality T.V. where Bibleman must resist the temptation of Marshmallowoman before the rapture so Bibleman will not be “tribulated”. But should he fail…

  7. Jill:

    Here’s the cable listing I found:

    Mythbusters (Dis) 9:00 – 10:00 p.m.: It’s Bibleman vs. Marshmallowman in this episode of “Mythbusters.” Jamie and Adam test the urban legend that a fool and his money soon go separate ways. Jamie stuffs money into Marshmallowman until he induces a divine rapture, while Adam debates Bibleman, goading him into speaking in tongues, and then all hell breaks loose. (Repeated Endlessly)

  8. Mespo,

    You have just come up with the next “killer” video game! Bibleman step aside, ancient of days marshmallow man is the new game in town. Great stuff(ing)!


  9. Jill:

    Like dunder said, you obviously misunderstood. You await the rapture in a molten smore. You have to avoid the sticky marshmallow cream and you want to try to get a seat on the graham cracker crust near the Hershey bar, if at all possible. It’s an easy mistake to make since both versions make about as much sense to the average rational thinker.

  10. dunder,

    The person I am speaking of is not a Jehovah Witness. I know many people who are fundamentalist but I had not heard this idea before. When I see him next, I will ask him if this is his own belief or if it is shared by the whole (or others) of his congregation.

    My reason for bringing it up was that there are so many religions with absolute certainty about the truth of their own claims and the falsity of other religions’ claims.


  11. jill, I would guess you should ask the Paster of that “fundamentalist church” in your area just exactly what your friend who is a member was trying to explain to you.

    It appears he is missing the boat on something; maybe he fell asleep that day and woke up at the end of the sermon.

    Jehovah Witnesses do believe that souls wait in Paradise for Christ to open the gate of Heaven, and some believe that Paradise is in the earth, but I don’t know about it being at it’s core.

  12. Ok, enough already with the time thing. When are we going to change something really important to be in accord with the Qur’an and decree that the sun revolves around the earth. Damn that infidel, Copernicus!

  13. actually, Arab Time is always about 45 minutes behind. In other words, you can be up to 45 minutes late for an appointment and still be on time.

  14. Hello dunder, I heard this from an actual member who was trying to convert me. I like this person and the rest of his family very much. I have to admit I am flummoxed by this belief.


  15. Jill, are you sure that is what the fundamentalist church in your town belives, or is that what your neighbors are telling you they believe…

    Just wondering.

  16. I thought the true center of the earth was a molten core of iron. This is where a fundamentalist christian church in my town believes everyone goes to await the rapture. Scientifically speaking, I must go with that interpretation.

  17. One of the (many) problems with this theory is that you would also have to move the international date line, which would then go through Alaska and Hawaii.

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