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.
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