Mecca - the destination of all Islamic pilgrims - is in spiritual turmoil today, as it emerged that many of the Saudi city's older mosques do not point precisely to the Kaaba shrine.
The black-draped cubic building is the most sacred sanctuary in Islam, and many Moslems who believe that it acts as a focus for their prayers are now concerned that, owing to the misalignment of the mosques, their heartfelt supplications have completely missed God and flown off uselessly into space where sinister thought-reading alien infidels may use them for their own unspeakable purposes.
"I can't think of any other reason for the continued existence of America, the Great Satan," angry pilgrim Sayid Jarrah told reporters.
Tawfik al-Sudairi, the deputy secretary at the Islamic Affairs Ministry, tried to reassure worshippers, saying: "There are no major errors but corrections have been made for some old mosques, thanks to modern techniques. In any case, it does not affect the prayers."
"Anyone who thinks otherwise is welcome to debate the issue at their leisure with the Mutaween, our much-loved religious police," he added.
Some Saudi citizens who are tired of living have criticised the mutaween for filling their ranks with criminals, whose only qualification is to have memorised the Koran to get their sentences reduced. They also hold them responsible for cruelly enforcing Sharia law, such as the incident in 2002 in which fifty schoolgirls died in their burning school after the mutaween refused to let them out because their heads were uncovered and they were not accompanied by a male guardian.
"It is an affront to civilised values that a police force tolerates the presence of so many convicted criminals in its ranks," said Britain's justice secretary Jack Straw, although he retracted his statement after a red-faced Home Secretary Jacqui Smith kicked his shins under the table.
"Ignorant people who make fetishes of inanimate objects are, I'm sad to say, missing the entire point of religious belief," said the newly-appointed leader of Britain's Catholics, the Most Reverend Vincent Price, just after he had fed his cannibal flock with wafers and wine which somehow turned into the physical remains of Jesus himself in their mouths.
The leader of Britain's damned heretics - Richard Dawkins, the Archatheist of Oxford - made no comment on the matter except to say that, as he only had the one life to live, he was rather keen to hang on to it.