It's real. The Saudi government is currently building an enormous clock tower in Mecca, set to Arabia Standard Time, that they hope will overshadow the Greenwich Observatory as the true center of the world's time. Yes. Arab Muslims: Time Thieves.
From the Telegraph's chilling report:
For the past 125 years, the international community has accepted that the start of each day should be measured from the prime meridian, representing 0 degrees longitude, which passes through the Greenwich Observatory.
A standard time by which other clocks were set was needed to organise global travel and communications, but in the Islamic world the idea that it should be centred on a part of London is seen as a colonial anachronism.
As Mohammed al-Arkubi, manager of one of the hotels in the complex, put it: "Putting Mecca time in the face of Greenwich Mean Time. This is the goal."
Holy Christmas! Pretty soon we'll all be wearing white dresses and prayin' eastward. Which will be easy to remember to do, because the all-knowing Clock will tell us when it's time:
When a glittering spire is added, topped with a crescent to symbolise Islam, the edifice will stand at nearly 2,000 ft, making it the world's second tallest building.
Residents of Mecca will also be reminded that it is time to pray when 21,000 green and white lights, visible at a distance of 18 miles, flash five times a day.
This is not unlike the all-seeing eye at Mordor, is it?
Well, whatever. We'll still always run on good old American time. "Hey boy, what time you got?" "Why it's three cheeseburgers past Martina McBride, sir." "You're a good boy, Johnny. You're a good, good boy." Things like that. Don't worry folks, as long as we successfully fight against that nasty Time Displacement Center that those evil types are trying to build somewhere vaguely near Ground Zero, everything will be OK.
Though, we'd probably be better off if we just all moved to Mecca:
According to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric known around the Muslim world for his popular television show "Sharia and Life", Mecca has a greater claim to being the prime meridian because it is "in perfect alignment with the magnetic north."
This claim that the holy city is a "zero magnetism zone" has won support from some Arab scientists like Abdel-Baset al-Sayyed of the Egyptian National Research Centre who says that there is no magnetic force in Mecca.
"That's why if someone travels to Mecca or lives there, he lives longer, is healthier and is less affected by the earth's gravity," he said. "You get charged with energy."