Thanks to Al-Arabiya for circulating this gem on the same week of Galileo’s birth:
Answering a student question on whether the Earth is stationary or moving, Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari replied: “stationary and does not move.”
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.”
The sheikh also said the moon landings were a hoax, which actually just puts him the company of a bunch of American conspiracy theorists.
Twitter is huge in Saudi Arabia, so the mocking came swiftly after his Sunday science lesson.