A Saudi cleric has drawn ridicule on social media after claiming that the Earth does not rotate, and that the Sun orbits the Earth.

Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari, answering questions from students at a university in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, told his audience the Earth is “stationary and does not move”.

To prove his point, Mr Khaibari launched into a convoluted effort to explain his theory using the example of an airplane flying to China.

“If we leave Sharjah airport on an international flight to China… 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.”

Social media users were not so convinced, with some noting that the irony that Mr Khaibari chose to advance his theory on the anniversary of Galileo’s birthday.

Mr Khaibari also claimed that the Sun orbits the Earth, rather than the other way round

According to al-Arabiya newspaper, Mr Khaibari has previously stated that Nasa never sent humans to the moon, rejecting lunar landing videos as a Hollywood fabrication.


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