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World’s largest clock ticks in Mecca 15, August 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Saudi Arabia.
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8 comments

Saudi authorities have ‘opened’ the world’s largest clock overlooking Mecca. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to the tower housing Big Ben in London, it will be much bigger: the clock diameter will be 151ft across.The building itself will be the second tallest building on earth.

Islamic scholars have mooted the idea that now ‘GMT’ should begin in Mecca, not Greenwich, London. They will, I’d have thought, have a hard time making this idea stick. Some Islamic scholar, bolstering Mecca’s claim for the new ‘start of time’ said that

If someone travels to Mecca or lives there, he lives longer, is healthier and is less affected by the earth’s gravity…You get charged with energy.

Does he not realise how absurd he sounds?

More generally, I am fairly appalled by this whole development. Whilst I am no Islamic scholar, I simply can’t believe that it is in keeping with the notion of an Islamic pilgrimage – the arduous trek [the pilgrimage itself] being a test of faith etc – that the new 6, 7 or 20 star hotel in Mecca will have a chocolate sommelier. It just seems wholly wrong to me.

(In the same way, to me, it is wrong that you can now fly into Lourdes: again, missing the point: it is the journey not the destination that is the whole point of these things.)