Muslim call to adopt Mecca time

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So what exactly are you concerned about? You seem to go back and forth as to the significance of Islam in the discussion. If anyone else mentions it you go off but you are quick to agree that Islam is significant to the issue.

Maybe I just don't see what you're getting at. Can you 'dumb it down' for me, please?

Cueball Cueball's picture

What "we" have "today" is largely the result of empire. That is the point. Why people should be ridiculed for making this point on a so called progressive board, isn't really clear to me. There is a message there. Indeed the fact that it appeals to a cultural tradition that exists outside of the British imperial tradition, and the vanity of those who asserted it on the principle of the essential superiority -- as proved, so they opined, by the ability to exact compliance through "scientifically enhanced" blood thirsty rampages of brutal repression -- of that tradition is also part and parcel of that message.

The snerking at their "backwardness" is merely an echo of that sad legacy, and a pathetic reminder of our own ignorance of history, as revealed by the prejudices that "we" express "today".


You seem to conflate scientific acomplishment with historical crimes of empire. If that is what you are doing then no-one, including Muslims, are exempt.

Sven Sven's picture

HeywoodFloyd wrote:

I'd like to know the science behind the claim that Mecca is in perfect alignment to magnetic north as opposed to other longditudes.

And even if that were true, it wouldn't be true tomorrow (mangentic north is a continually shifting point on the globe).

Sven Sven's picture

To be fair, perhaps every culture should have its own time system.

That would be cool.

Ditto for 2009 and the rest of the calendar (a Christo-centric measurement).

I work for a global company and work with people who are in virtually every country (and culture) on Earth.  I think it would be fun trying to agree on the time (and date) of conference calls.

Skinny Dipper

If Mecca were the new prime meridian, then the new international date line would be located at 140 degrees 11 minutes west.  This is close to the Alaska-Yukon boundary line at 141 degrees west.  Alaska (and Hawaii) would be a day ahead of the lower continental 48 states.  Alaskans and Hawaiians would be able to watch sports events a day ahead of us, bet on them, and win.  They'll know ahead of time if the Toronto Maple Leafs will win or lose their next game.  Actually, any one of us can predict the future about the Leafs.


If that's what they want, then they should just go with it. Publish new maps with Mecca at 0 Latitude and have a few clerics issue directives that on matters of Islam only that the new maps should be used. 25 years later, a new generation has been taught from the ground up that Mecca is at the centre of all maps and "those western maps" look just wrong.

Maps are hugely influential on the psyche. Look at maps that use just a different projection system, or just turn a globe upside down, and see how your view of the world is biased. I bet most people when given an upside-down globe with no nation labels would have no idea of what planet it really is. How many people think that Greenland is larger than North America, or that Alaska is as big as Australia, thanks to Mercator Projection maps?

Information is just information, to be presented in many ways. In teaching my kids about the world, I have mercator, Mollweide, Winkel tripel, Robinson and Gall-Peters (a very important sociological projection) projection maps.


As a starting point for the Muslims, I would suggest that rather than try to get 0 degrees moved that they instead issue Azimuthal equidistant projection maps centred on Mecca. From there, the physical concept that mecca is the centre of the world will flow.


Maps are both wonderous and deceptive. All maps distort, and this can be proven mathmatically. When looking at a map, one cannot ask "Is it correct" but rather "Do I understand how it is wrong". Alternatively, one must ask "What is the mapmaker trying to tell me?".






N.Beltov wrote:
[url=]The Angry Arab [/url]addresses this issue in a [url=]... [/url]over at Democracy Now! with [url=]Irshad Manji. [/url] The debate took place in the context of the cartoons mocking/ridiculing the Muslim Prophet Muhammed.


As’ad AbuKhalil: I would like to say, right at the outset, where I stand. First, I’m very much in favor, and I relish the opportunity to mock every and other religion. What I think is very bothersome to many Arabs and Muslims is exactly what the other guest does, which is selective condemnation and mocking of one religion over others. I mean, I think if you mock all religion, that is consistent, free thinking, in support for the enlightenment, as well as secularism, but what comes out of many in the West is selective secularism, the notion that you can mock one religion, but all others have to be treated with reverence and sacredness. And this is why this entire defense, in the name of freedom of speech, doesn’t sell very much in the Arab world.

Isn't this Muslim concept of scientific discovery predated by the Koran also lending support to the Christian concept of the 'creator'?

If the Muslim 'clock' is adopted, since it runs counterclockwise or backwards to some, will this clock stop at the moment of Mohammed's birth or will it go negative?

wage zombie

Sven wrote:

I work for a global company and work with people who are in virtually every country (and culture) on Earth.  I think it would be fun trying to agree on the time (and date) of conference calls.

At this point the most relevant "0" date is Jan 1, 1970, 12:00 am, which is what computers around teh world use as the 0 second.  While times can look different to people in different places, display in different languages, right now "time" is being stored as seconds since 01/01/1970 pretty much across the board.

It would be relatively easy, as things go in the world, to have several different popular calendars that people could use collectively amongst themselves.  Having an option on your computer to display "muslim time" or "metric time" or "mayan calendar" or however you'd want to do it would not be very hard.  If two people using a calendar were trying to have a meeting they could each see the meeting data and time expressed in their own calendrical system if desired.

Such tools and calendar systems have not been fully developed and are not in use, but, from a technical standpoint, it's not a complex problem.  Compared to say, mapping tools or intelligent ad serving.


I got interested in why maps are, these days, typically oriented with north up and south down, so I looked at the Wikipedia article on maps. According to that article, there was no single convention in Medieval Europe. One standard convention was to put Jerusalem at the centre of the map, with East up and West down (North to the left and South to the right). Here is a neat examples:

Another example can be found here.

Apparently, the north-up-south-down orientation was standardized when Ptolemy's Geography was reintroduced to Western Europe around 1400. I'm not sure why Ptolemy (who lived in the second century A.D.) adopted that convention... back to the web!