In Depth

Saudi cleric 'proves' the Earth does not rotate – video

Footage shows Sheikh al-Khaibari using a cup to explain to university students why Galileo was wrong

A Saudi cleric has become the target of internet ridicule after a video emerged showing him explaining that the Earth is stationary and the Sun orbits the planet instead.

Speaking to university students in the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh al-Khaibari attempted to illustrate his point by using a cup of water and a complicated example of flying to China.

"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, pointing to the cup.

The Earth is rotating, right?" he asked sarcastically. "So, if the plane stops still on air, wouldn't China be coming towards it? True or not?"

"If the Earth rotates on the other direction, the plane will not be able to reach China, because China is also rotating as the plane rotates," he said.

This isn't the first time Sheikh al-Khaibari has made unusual remarks about space, according to Al Arabiya. He previously rejected the notion that anyone had ever landed on the Moon, dismissing it at a "Hollywood fabrication".

The irony that the comments were made on Galileo's birthday was not lost on social media users, with people around the world responding to his comments with incredulity.

#داعية_ينفي_دوران_الأرض

Stop the world i want to get off.. Seriously.

— Faisal Alwafi (@FaSs0o0L) February 15, 2015

As muslims this is our biggest problem, when losers can find their way to the media !! #داعية_ينفي_دوران_الأرض

— Khalid Al-Khalid (@khaledabuhammad) February 18, 2015

#داعية_ينفي_دوران_الأرض Did this idiot even go to school? I guess not. pic.twitter.com/T23qwdDWed

— Talal Al-Khaldi (@tkhaldi) February 18, 2015

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