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Nobel Laureate Wiped From Pakistan's Textbooks As Heretic 445

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Alexander Abad-Santos writes that in any other country, the late Dr. Abdus Salam would be a national hero: he's the Nobel laureate in physics who laid the groundwork for the biggest physics discovery in the past 30 years--the Higgs boson. But that isn't the case in Pakistan, where Salam has been wiped from textbooks and history for not being fundamentalist enough. 'He belonged to the Ahmadi sect, which has been persecuted by the government and targeted by Taliban militants who view its members as heretics,' says Sebastian Abbot. 'His grand unification theory of strong, weak and electromagnetic fields opened the gateway for the discovery of bosons and laid down the basis for this quantum electrodynamics project,' writes Anam Khalid Alvi for Pakistan's Express Tribune. But Pakistan can't celebrate his achievements, since Ahmadis like Salam are and were prevented from 'posing as Muslims,' and can be punished with prison and even death. By contrast, fellow Pakistani physicist A.Q. Khan, who played a key role in developing the country's nuclear bomb and later confessed to spreading nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, is considered a national hero. Khan is a Muslim."
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Nobel Laureate Wiped From Pakistan's Textbooks As Heretic

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  • Re:Ah don't worry... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2012 @04:26PM (#40595907)

    Lordy, if I had a nickel for every time I'd heard one group or another referred to with derision as, "not real Christians". And another nickel for every time someone tried to get some basic scientific theory removed from school, or shoehorn some religious nonsense into classrooms.

    It's certainly not the same, but I'd wager that's just a minor wealth and cultural difference. Give us time.

  • Re:Ah don't worry... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kilfarsnar ( 561956 ) on Monday July 09, 2012 @05:03PM (#40596313)

    280 people killed in the last killed by muslim terrorists between June 23 and June 29th. 1173 people killed by muslim terrorists in June alone. 19,187 terrorist attacks by muslims since 9/11. []

    19,187 separate attacks? Can we get a citation for this? Or some methodology? While seems totally unbiased, I'd like to know where that number comes from. If 11 years (or so) have passed since 9/11/01, that's 1744 and a quarter attacks per year, or 4 and three quarters attacks per day, not taking time off for Ramadan, for 11 years. Just seems like a lot is all.

  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Monday July 09, 2012 @05:06PM (#40596373) Journal
    Comparing the Extremism the Fundamentalist Islamists get away with around the world to whatever drama the Fundamentalist Christians try to perpetrate is -- really -- just ridiculous.

    Not really - Just a matter of degree, limited solely by how much power each group has over their respective countries... AIDS sucks more than the flu, but you don't really want to catch either of them.

    But hey, I hear ya - It makes perfect sense to devote the full resources of the US government to hashing out whether or not whores... er... "young women"... should have the right to autonomy over their own bodies when it comes to reproductive health. Certainly, no fine upstanding Fundies would suggest beating people to death [] just because their god whispers sweet, sweet nothings to them in the dark...

    Religion is a disease, which any sane person would seek to cure ASAP.
  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday July 09, 2012 @05:11PM (#40596417) Journal

    People can handle accidental, isolated deaths. Yes, someone dies, but there is no malicious force that caused it. ...

    People cannot accept someone else who is out to kill them intentionally because of hatred or a belief system.

    I find sporadic intentional, malicious deaths to be far more acceptable than widespread preventable accidental deaths. Any decent human being would feel the same. The important thing is to minimize the loss of human life. Whether there's intentionality behind the deaths is irrelevant.

    The problem is, most people aren't decent human beings and care more about being slighted by foreigners than about actually saving lives.

    The reason there ever was a "war on terror" isn't to "funnel money to corporate buddies" â" it's because, to be blunt, we don't put up with that shit

    What's sad is that you probably actually believe that. If that were actually true, we'd have actual reasons for going to war, instead of flimsy pretexts.

    e.g. Afghanistan, we're there to get Bin Laden, but once we get there we stop looking for him and waste years spending money for nothing. Who does that benefit besides military contractors?

    e.g. Iraq. What reason is there to invent a non-existant link between Saddam Hussein and OBL, and hype up non-existent WMDs based on evidence that was known to be false?

    Why did we go intervene in Lybia and haven't done much yet in Syria? One's an oil producing nation, the other isn't.

    You've made a bold assertion in that "we don't put up with that shit". What sort of mechanisms are in place to prevent that shit from happening? If a well connected vice president actually decided to go to war in order to benefit his cronies, how does the system prevent that? What reason is there to believe that ANY US politician makes ANY decision without considering how it would profit their friends and campaign contributors?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2012 @05:14PM (#40596479)

    It was quite interesting. As an atheist, while his family wasn't comfortable with the idea of him opening a tech store with someone not of their faith, I was more welcome than someone convinced of another faith. When bored, we'd often discuss his faith, and his history with it. He had come to Canada as a refugee around age 14, and eventually acquired citizenship (He deserved it--he busted his balls when it came to work and spoke better English than many born Canadians I know). The primary focus of their faith is to teach that (basically) Jihad is wrong, and that the Muslim faith is one of complete peace. A good friend of his was a long standing member of their mosque and would affirm this, as would anyone else I questioned of their faith. None of them would ever be pushy and, frankly, were a hell of a lot more fun to be around than Christians.

    I, of course, never converted, but I did gain some insight into the problems of the Muslim religion and exactly why countries like Pakistan are screwed up.

  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Monday July 09, 2012 @05:19PM (#40596523)

    I couldn't agree more.

    Yet there is one faction of our government here in the US that has played the religion card since the "Southern Strategy". Barry Goldwater decried that they would never be rid of them.

    And so far he's been more than right - it's only gotten worse.

    The percentage of people in the US who are creationists is always polled in the high 40s. We're not that far away from Pakistan. While it may seem like a good political idea to pander to religious nutters, all we have to do to look at what would happen without the "wall of separation between Church & State", as Jefferson put it in his letter to the Danbury Baptists, is to look to the governments of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, et al. And if you listen to many Republicans, especially the ones who are dominionists and members of The Family, they're not that far off from the Taliban. Don't forget, there were *four* Republican candidates running for President that "God" told them to run. Fortunately all 4 dropped out. God's got a sense of humour, apparently.

    But the fact remains, we had 4 wild-eyed religious whackos running for President and they were all treated seriously. That was unprecedented. And the broader Republican caucus is full of moronic bible thumpers.

    Barry Goldwater spins in his grave at high RPM. I am working on wrapping his dust and the dust of Roger Williams and William Penn in coils of wire to generate electricity and solve the energy crisis. I just need grant or VC money.


  • by demachina ( 71715 ) on Monday July 09, 2012 @05:20PM (#40596547)

    " But make no mistake: when US policy makers of any political stripe make the decision to go to war, the thinking isn't, "Hey, this can line the pockets of my corporate buddies!! Lulz!"

    Well actually there was LBJ, he was a pretty successful war profiteer on Bell helicopter, General Dynamics fighters and his buddy ran Brown and Root. Brown and Root did very profitable general contracting for the military in Vietnam.

    Brown and Root became Kellog Brown and Root and ended up owned by Halliburton which Dick Cheney used to war profiteer in Iraq 30 years later. The second Iraq war turned in to one massive exercise in war profiteering for people well connected with the Republican party. The U.S. would fly in plane loads of 100 dollar bills and they would be made to disappear. How else do you explain the Bush administrations overwhelming urge to invade Iraq. There was no actual rational reason for it that wasn't a lie.

    War profiteering is as old as war, Dave. Are you actually that naive or do you not even believe the stuff you're writing anymore.

    Profiteering may not be the prime reason for a war but it sure is a huge fringe benefit for the well connected.

  • Re:Ah don't worry... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bhlowe ( 1803290 ) on Monday July 09, 2012 @05:45PM (#40596801)
    Right on cue, you are offended by a website [] and apparently not at all offended by the atrocities committed by those practicing the silly religion that got stuck in the 6th century. We can't do much about acts of God.. but we can sure as hell condemn some of the abominable acts of Man committed in the name of Allah.

    Next up, you'll be defending the reintroduction of sex slaves [] in Egypt...

  • by kilfarsnar ( 561956 ) on Monday July 09, 2012 @05:55PM (#40596901)

    People cannot accept someone else who is out to kill them intentionally because of hatred or a belief system. Yes, foreign policy, resources, economics, geopolitics, and myriad other nuances are involved here, but it really is that simple at its core.

    While there is some irrational hatred at play, the fact remains that the US and its allies have been overthrowing governments, propping up dictators, and generally fucking with many countries in the Middle East for over 50 years now. I'd say it adds up to a bit more than nuance.

    The reason there ever was a "war on terror" isn't to "funnel money to corporate buddies" — it's because, to be blunt, we don't put up with that shit, even if our response is imperfect — not to mention that Europe and the West has enjoyed US defense-by-proxy for over a half-century. The fact that war is an economic driver is incidental (even if it can be argued to be important in its own way). But make no mistake: when US policy makers of any political stripe make the decision to go to war, the thinking isn't, "Hey, this can line the pockets of my corporate buddies!! Lulz!"

    The reasons for the War on Terror are myriad. Many players are interested in it for their own reasons. For the defense contractors and the banks, the purpose of the War on Terror is very much to make money. That $500 billion the Pentagon spends every year has to go into someones' pocket. And the debt to finance the war has to come from somewhere. Not much gets done in America that doesn't have a profit motive.

    But I know that you and many other readers here are cynical (and ignorant) enough to actually twist a story about Pakistan and Islam into, yet again in true topsy-turvy bizarro-world style, how the US is evil. (Same thing happened with the recent Syria Wikileaks story [].) It might be amusing if it weren't so predictable, pathetic, and shameful.

    On the world stage it's never about good and evil. It's about power and control; who has it and who wants it. It's as simple as that.

  • Re:Ah don't worry... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Loopy ( 41728 ) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:32PM (#40597225) Journal

    Might have been helpful to read the rest of the conversation about how most of the other religions (Christianity especially) have learned from their mistakes.

    Furthermore, nobody asserted Islam was the "silliest" of the bunch -- just the most lethal to non-believers.

  • Re:Ah don't worry... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bhlowe ( 1803290 ) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:34PM (#40597237)
    Islam IS BY FAR the most backwards and violent religion. To suggest that other religions are somehow even in the running is ridiculous. Nobody "remembers" the crusades... unless you count the crusades happening today by Muslims. Prove it to yourself... If you can't find 20 violent Muslim atrocities for every non-muslim one, you just aren't trying. Or looking at the doctrine, find the worst Christian, Jewish or Buddhist practice, and see how it compares as it is practiced in Saudi Arabia.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2012 @07:19PM (#40597587)

    Why did we go intervene in Lybia and haven't done much yet in Syria? One's an oil producing nation, the other isn't.

    Your answers are good-natured but dangerously simplistic. Here's something that's a little less simplistic, but hopefully enough to convince you to look deeper.

    We intervened in Libya because there were clear objectives and a clear path to victory. One well-defined rebellion opposition with a game plan and a string of cities between themselves and Tripoli.

    We're still figuring Syria out. There's more than one opposition group... and they have next to nothing in common with each other, except for wanting al-Assad out! They're not working with or co-ordinated with each other. (One wants Western assistance... the other considers us infidels... this complicates how we can "intervene". That's just one factor.)

    Syria's government has been in power for a long time, in part because it's kept its opposition fragmented.

  • Re:Ah don't worry... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bitt3n ( 941736 ) on Monday July 09, 2012 @07:39PM (#40597773)

    being in a shit-hole place with shit education where everyone has been miserably poor for centuries has much more to do with you being a violent scumbag than the particular batshit superstitions you subscribe to.

    actually, terrorists tend on average to be relatively wealthy and well-educated, from relatively well-to-do countries []

  • Re:Ah don't worry... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Monday July 09, 2012 @09:27PM (#40598463)

    Don't forget that they scrubbed "muslim" off his grave. And other muslims in the region are expected to go out of their way to persecute them.

    This, incidentally, highlights a key point in understanding Wahhabism and Qutbism. However much you think that this particular brand of Islamism is a threat to the West, you're far more likely to be killed, persecuted or generally targeted by them if you're Muslim.

    To put it another way, the fact that Al Qaeda and the Taliban is far more of a threat to Islam than to anything else could be considered evidence that (mainstream) Islam is a religion of peace. That's why they hate it so much.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.