Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Antipodean mosque

Not intended to be offensive to Muslims.
  (+14, -2)(+14, -2)
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Muslims face Mecca when they pray, and the interior of a mosque indicates the direction in which one should face. Hence there are circles of mosques around Mecca, all with the Qaaba at the centre. However, once a mosque is over ten thousand kilometres from Mecca, it is closer to the antipodes of Mecca and forms a circle facing away from it.

Mururoa is twenty thousand kilometres from Mecca, approximately but near enough. I propose that a special mosque be built in Mururoa where the faithful all face away from the centre in order to face Mecca. This mosque could then become a second, informal place of pilgrimage for Muslims. It might also have interesting consequences for the French government and their defence policy.

nineteenthly, May 31 2008

In reality (wherever that is) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18404517/
Malaysian muslims in space [nineteenthly, Jun 02 2008]

Lunar mosque http://www.spaceage...com/pdfs/Khaled.pdf
see page 5 for technical drawings. [ye_river_xiv, Dec 25 2008]

[link]






       Is there a place on the exact other-side of the world from Mecca, where it doesn't matter in which direction the faithful faces, since every direction is towards Mecca?   

       el dueno
el dueno, May 31 2008
  

       It's in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. Mururoa seems to be the closest land, at twenty-one degrees, fifty minutes south and a hundred and thirty-eight degrees, fifty-five minutes west. Mecca is twenty-one degrees, twenty-five minutes north, thirty-nine degrees, forty-nine minutes east. Therefore, the island is twenty-five minutes off longitudinally and seventy-six minutes off latitutidinally, which assuming Earth is cylindrical, makes it around one hundred and fifty kilometres off. I suppose there could be a platform instead, but i don't think there's any land nearer.
nineteenthly, May 31 2008
  

       Really, the mosque should be on a ship, at the exact spot. This imprecise Mururururoa business verges on sacrilege.
bungston, Jun 01 2008
  

       //Not intended to be offensive to Muslims// - wishful thinking - grrrrrrrr..... sound of deep rumbling from a cave somewhere in Tora Bora
xenzag, Jun 01 2008
  

       Well, you could always move Murururururururururururoa, [bungston], or maybe Mecca.   

       [xenzag], some might say i don't have to go that far. I live in a city where many people are of a particular opinion regarding the likes of shoes with writing on them.
nineteenthly, Jun 01 2008
  

       It could also be an opposite in other ways, such as having an open bar and pork rotisserie... mmmm... enough to tempt me to Mururururururoa.
vincevincevince, Jun 01 2008
  

       Maybe there should actually be a whole religion called Malsi, based around doing the opposite and pilgrimages to Muroa.
nineteenthly, Jun 01 2008
  

       Have you taken into account the concept of verticality in Islam? There is a beam of spiritual power coming from the cosmos, straight into the Kaaba.   

       This could complicate matters and take them from earthly geography into astronomical goniometry and deep geology.   

       In any case, just because your idea would keep the French busy, I can only support it.
django, Jun 01 2008
  

       I did consider that people would have to stand on their heads, but a more intriguing prospect concerning the curvature of space now occurs to me, namely that billions of light years away, there may be a point in space where they would have to face upwards, so perhaps a sphere could be placed there, to which they would have to journey once in their lifetimes. That would make their whole lives a pilgrimage.   

       Come to think of it, maybe Mecca should have a spaceport.
nineteenthly, Jun 01 2008
  

       or at least have rockets of some kind travel there
FlyingToaster, Jun 01 2008
  

       Oh how i wish your comment wasn't hilarious, but sadly you have made me happy. Head asplode.
nineteenthly, Jun 01 2008
  

       Often wondered how they would face Mecca from the Moon, or Mars, or indeed Ceres.
simonj, Jun 02 2008
  

       yeah, I know, it *is* just humour, though; based on incidents from my own religion's history, religion is just an excuse.
FlyingToaster, Jun 02 2008
  

       [simonj], there have been serious discussions regarding this issue because of Malaysian muslim astronauts aboard i think the ISS. There are also some other guidelines regarding dress and so forth. See link.   

       [FlyingToaster], yes i appreciate that.
nineteenthly, Jun 02 2008
  

       so... at this mosque wouldn't they have to stand on their heads ? or is it strictly a direction of travel thing (in which case shuttle astronauts would have to face Cape Canaveral, being the first leg)
FlyingToaster, Jun 02 2008
  

       If they had to stand on their heads, it would follow that at a separation of ninety degrees from Mecca, they would be required to slope at an angle of forty-five degrees or so, and that doesn't happen. Therefore, it must be to do with a great circle passing through the Qaaba, in which case a Muslim several hundred kilometres in length would presumably have to arch their body considerably in order to comply. I say "in length" because the idea of a Muslim hundreds of kilometres in height is clearly absurd.
nineteenthly, Jun 02 2008
  

       Mecca clearly then is a line reaching into the galaxy; perhaps all that is required is a hand-held galactic positioning system (GPS) based calculator giving the direction of the extended great circle. This may require future astronauts to be somewhat counter-intuitively facing away from Earth to pray, but would be more precise.
FlyingToaster, Jun 02 2008
  

       I must go to my globe and check a few things. Hopefully, outrageous thoughts to follow.
Ozone, Jun 02 2008
  

       //Often wondered how they would face Mecca from the Moon, or Mars, or indeed Ceres.//   

       Some thought has actually gone into that already, which I had the (mis?)fortune of running into. [linky]
ye_river_xiv, Dec 25 2008
  

       // Mururoa //
The site of the French H-bomb tests? Seems apt enough.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Dec 25 2008
  
      
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