This Al Arabiya story doesn’t say so, but Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari is reflecting Qur’anic teaching. The Qur’an depicts Dhu’l-Qarneyn, a mysterious character whom most Muslims identify with Alexander the Great, as traveling until he reaches “the setting-place of the Sun,” where he sees it setting in a “muddy spring.” Then he travels to the “rising-place of the Sun.” Given the literalism that is mainstream in Islamic tradition, it isn’t surprising that Sheikh Bandar al-Khaibari would take these passages as indication that the Sun does indeed rise and set around a stationary Earth.
“Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout. We said: O Dhu’l-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness….Till, when he reached the rising-place of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had appointed no shelter therefrom.” (Qur’an 18:86, 90)
This same Qur’anic literalism, of course, leads all too many Muslims to seek to make war against and subjugate Infidels, as per Qur’an 9:29, etc.
“Saudi cleric rejects that Earth revolves around the Sun,” Al Arabiya, February 16, 2015:
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.”
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….