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Nobel Laureate Wiped from Pakistan's Textbooks as Heretic

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | more than 2 years ago

Science 0

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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