Sunday, July 13, 2008

Islamic Mean Time?

h/t to MCJ
For some reason, adherents of the Islamic religion seem to believe that the rest of us don't poke nearly enough fun at it:
Muslim scientists and clerics have called for the adoption of Mecca time to replace GMT, arguing that the Saudi city is the true centre of the Earth. The call was issued at a conference held in the Gulf state of Qatar under the title: Mecca, the Centre of the Earth, Theory and Practice. One geologist argued that unlike other longitudes, Mecca’s was in perfect alignment to magnetic north.

April 30, 2008
Riyadh, Saudia Arabia

In a freak global shift which has scientists around the world baffled, the Earth's magnetic field has moved dramatically, causing the northern magentic pole to line up exactly on the longitude of the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca.

"This is a sign from Allah!" exclaimed cleric al-Waqarawy, a proponent of the "Ijaz al-Koran" movement which strives to find modern science presaged in the Koran. "Even more so as it comes upon the heels of last week's Mecca conference in Qatar!"

Cambridge geologist Dr. Cecil Wilberforce disagreed. "The earth's magnetic north regularly migrates" he intoned. "While we are still uncertain what caused this unexpectedly radical shift this week, it's doubtlessly a purely natural phenomenon that has nothing whatsoever to do with religion or pseudo-science."

But Iousseph al-Riidyah, leader of the militant "academic jihad" movement based at King Fahd University in Dharahn, had a different explanation. "There is no mystery!" he exclaimed. "We sent a thousand glorious martyrs -- graduate students, of course -- in suicide vests into Canada to drive the magentic pole from its infidel and westernized false location. They forced it, by their noble sacrifices, to flee the ground of their martyrs' blood and return to its proper place, in the pure waters north of Alaska! Allah is great!"

Whatever the cause, the sudden magnetic changes have vastly disrupted the paths of many migratory birds. Literally hundreds of thousands are now flying in confused circles around parts of the country, with bee-eaters and red-throated pipits predominating, and many species of shore-line birds have unaccountably moved inland.

"Truly this is a glorious sign!" exulted Fadir al-Saamhdi, a Meccan street vendor, wiping guano off his face as countless birds circled in raucous confusion overhead. Looking upward -- an ill-advised move, as he quickly discovered -- he added "Now the whole world shall see that Allah truly l.. ack! pfffpht! ugh! Blech!"

Imams from throughout the region have issued injunctions to the world's Muslims to come to Mecca and help keep the sacred black meteorite, the Kaaba, and other holy places clean during this avian invasion, and it is rumored that several of the religions more extreme leaders are considering issuing a fatwah calling for the destruction of the birds, given their obviously infidel intention to desecrate the religion's most sacred sites.

But most geologists - even though unsure of what has caused this dramatic change - think the Muslim community need not worry too much, as computer models universally predict that the pole's new position will eventually settle down about 5 degrees further west, lining itself up precisely around the globe from Jerusalem.