A Saudi cleric has found internet fame– and ridicule- after he was filmed explaining to students that the Earth remains stationary while it is orbited by the Sun.
Mr. Khaibari then attempted to explain his theory by creating a convoluted hypothetical scenario of an aeroplane flying to China, which he demonstrated with the aid of a cup of water.
“If we leave Sharjah airport on an international flight to China…the Earth is rotating, right?” he asked his audience. “So, if the plane stops still in the air, wouldn’t China be coming towards it? True or not?”
“If the Earth rotates in the other direction, the plane will not be able to reach China, because China is also rotating as the plane rotates.”
As Khaibari’s class was recorded by one of those present, word quickly spread to social media. Users were incredulous, using the hashtag #داعية_ينفي_دوران_الأرض, which roughly translates as #cleric_rejects_rotation_of_Earth, to respond; some noted the irony of the cleric choosing to air his theory on the anniversary of Gallileo’s birthday.
#داعية_ينفي_دوران_الأرض What a coincidence that this would occur on Galileo’s birthday!
— Häyät Al-Ma’arri⚛ (@TheBoominati) February 15, 2015
— Talal Al-Khaldi (@tkhaldi) February 18, 2015
— Robert Hadow (@BestInFlightLDJ) February 19, 2015
According to Al Arabiya, this is not the first time that Sheikh al-Khaibari has made controversial remarks relating to space. In previous statements, he has rejected the notion that any human has ever set foot on the Moon, dismissing it as a “Hollywood fabrication”.
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