Portrait of terror suspect on anniversary of 9/11: Woolwich 'soldier-killer' pictured on march 'defending' mosque Daily Mail, thanks to Golem
- Michael Adebolajo was part of group to counter English Defence League
- They gathered outside Harrow Central Mosque in North-West London
- Event was called off but they vented their anger on the police instead
He was among hundreds of young Muslims who gathered outside Harrow Central Mosque in North-West London, to 'defend' it against a planned joint protest by the English Defence League and Stop the Islamisation of Europe group.
Even though that event was called off – and despite the mosque's pleas for peace from the Muslim youths – they vented their anger on the police instead.
Officers were pelted with bricks, bottles and fireworks. There were ten arrests.
History: Michael Adebolajo (centre in black) was part of the crowd who gathered to defend a mosque in Harrow on the anniversary of 9/11, in 2009
But now the supremacy of Greenwich Mean Time is being challenged by a gargantuan new clock being built in Mecca, by which the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims could soon be setting their watches.
Bearing a striking resemblance to both St Stephen’s Tower, which houses the bell of Big Ben, and the Empire State Building, the Saudi upstart aims to outdo its revered British rival in every way.
The clock’s four faces are 151ft in diameter and will be illuminated by 2million LED lights along with huge Arabic script reading: “In the name of Allah”. The clock will run on Arabia Standard Time which is three hours ahead of GMT.
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.
The clock of Big Ben, by comparison, is just 23ft in diameter, while its tower stands at a mere 316ft.
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.
But Islamic scholars hope the clock’s influence will stretch far further than the sands of Saudi Arabia, as part of a plan for Mecca to eclipse the Greenwich Observatory as the “true centre of the earth”.
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."
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."
Western scientists have challenged such assertions, noting that the Magnetic North Pole is in actual fact on a line of longitude that passes through Canada, the United States, Mexico and Antarctica.
Due to start ticking on Thursday as the faithful begin fasting during the month of Ramadan, the timepiece sits atop the Royal Mecca Clock Tower which dominates Islam’s holiest city.