Saudi cleric rejects that Earth revolves around the Sun

Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari’s argument triggered a wave of controversy on social media

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A Saudi cleric has appeared in a recent video rejecting the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun and claiming the opposite holds true, prompting a wave of social media remarks.

Answering a student question on whether the Earth is stationary or moving, Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari replied: "stationary and does not move."

Watch the video with English subtitles here

He then attempted to support his argument by quoting some clerics and selected religious statements. But his most controversial method to debunk the rotation theory was a "logical" deduction in which he used a visual.

“First of all, where are we now? we go to Sharjah airport to travel to China by plane, clear?! focus with me, this is Earth;” he said, holding a sealed water cup.

He argued that if a plane stops still in air “China would be coming towards it” in case the Earth rotates on one direction. It the Earth rotates on opposite direction, the plane would never reach China, because “China is also rotating.”

In separate statements Sheikh al-Khaibari said man never went to the moon, rejecting NASA’s lunar excursion video as Hollywood fabrication.

The video of the sheikh triggered a wave of controversial remarks on social media, especially on Twitter, where a special hashtag is being widely circulated. The hashtag translates as: "#cleric_rejects_rotation_of_Earth

In an interesting remark, one user tweeted: "What a coincidence that this would occur on Galileo's birthday!"

Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was born on Feb. 15, 1564. He was accused twice of heresy by the church for his beliefs, including his support for the Copernican theory that the earth and planets revolved around the sun.

Meanwhile, some twitter users ridiculed the preacher others said the now popular hashtag should be used to promote and share knowledge of the universe.

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