SPEAKERS at a Doha conference on Mecca's importance said that the holy city, not Greenwich, should become the reference point for world time, reigniting an old controversy that started some four decades ago.
A group of Islamic scholars presented on Saturday “scientific evidence” to prove that Mecca was the core of that the zero longitude passes through the holy city and not through Greenwich in the UK.
Greenwich in England has been the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) since 1884. GMT is sometimes called Greenwich Meridian Time because it is measured from the Greenwich Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Greenwich is the place from where all time zones are measured.
The phrase scientific evidence has scare quotes around it for good reason. For one thing, they argue that Mecca has perfect alignment of geographic north to magnetic north. All well and good, but magnetic north drifts over time. The claim is false anyway, the true perfect alignment is somewhere around Kandahar.
Possibly the most hilarious aspect of this is their solution: reject the maps!
The participants recommended the unification of the time in the Arab world to the time in Mecca instead of Greenwich. They also called the Arab governments to abandon the new world maps “because they are forged to serve Western interests.”
yes, western interests like global trade, or navigation of oil tankers?
As I've said elsewhere, attempts like this to assert Islamic superiority in the arena of science by pseudoscience fatwa betray a deep-seated insecurity about faith more than anything else.