New Mecca Clock Challenges Greenwich Mean Time

Mecca-London battle over time itself
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2010 7:00 AM CDT
New Mecca Clock Challenges Greenwich Mean Time
Each face of the Mecca clock will be inscribed with the words "God is greatest" in Arabic and fitted with thousands of colored lights.    (AP Photo)

Greenwich Mean Time should make way for Mecca Mean Time, according to Saudis building a giant clock. The timepiece, which boasts four faces, each 151 feet high, will sit atop the 2,000-foot Royal Mecca Clock Tower in Islam's holiest city when completed. Islamic scholars hope the clock will eclipse London and become the world's center of time, the Telegraph reports.

"Putting Mecca time in the face of Greenwich Mean Time—this is the goal," says the manager of one of the hotels in the Mecca tower complex, which overlooks the city's Grand Mosque. Some Islamic scientists claim that the holy city is a "zero magnetism zone," and should replace London as the center of the world at 0 degrees longitude. Western scientists argue that the true prime meridian actually runs through the US and Canada. (More Greenwich Mean Time stories.)

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