Right Particle, Wrong God: Pakistani Nobel Winner’s Existence Erased In School Books Due To His Religious Beliefs

You would think that the claimed discovery of the Higgs boson — or God’s Particle — would lead to a new round of celebration in Pakistan over its own Nobel laureate, Adbus Salam. After all, Salam helped develop the theoretical framework that led to the apparent discovery of the subatomic particle. However, before laying the ground work for discovering the God Particle, Salam picked the wrong God in the view of many Pakistanis. Salam, who died in 1996, has been stricken from school textbooks and public acknowledgments because he was a member of the Ahmadi sect that is viewed by Muslims as heretical.


The Ahmadi have been persecuted in Pakistan by both Taliban and government officials. Ahmadiyya is based on the teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), who believed that Islam is the final dispensation for humanity as revealed to Muhammad. Ahmadis believe that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to end religious wars and stop religious killings to create a peaceful world. Followers notably do not subscribe to the extreme beliefs of the hardline Muslim community in many parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Salam and Steven Weinberg shared the Nobel Prize and predicted the existence of the Higgs boson. Pakistani children however are not told of his existence, let alone his work, because of his faith.

Source: Guardian

17 thoughts on “Right Particle, Wrong God: Pakistani Nobel Winner’s Existence Erased In School Books Due To His Religious Beliefs”

  1. THussain:
    I echo what Mike S. wrote above. Although every word you have written may be absolutely true, and I certainly have no basis to dispute it, one’s religious views are completely immaterial to the matter of recognition for significant accomplishments in the arts and sciences. Justice and retribution are not synonymous terms.

  2. THussain,

    I have no knowledge that would refute your characterization of this belief as being heresy to Muslims. However, Isn’t the real point here that people should be allowed to believe as they choose and their belief shouldn’t negate what they’ve produced in fields other than religion?

  3. It’s funny in a sad way how the Pakistani censor out the Ahmadi because they’re heretics and how the US government wants you to be unaware of them because we have no reason to fear them.

    They sound like most Christians. Reasonable and peace loving. Of Course, reasonable and peace loving sells no print.

  4. This is yet another “victim” card Ahmadi article. Why do journalists no longer carry out a bit of research? Is this because with Ahmadis it’s hard to see past the persecution (which I condemn in the strongest terms)?

    To my point. Ahmadis categorically declare 1.5 billion Muslims as non-Muslims for rejecting their prophet Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, did you even know this? That’s fine, they’re entitled to hold their beliefs. But then why cry wolf? Mirza Ghulam Ahmad states in the Essence of Islam, volume 4, page 87, “God has disclosed to me that whoever has been apprised of my advent and does not accept me is not a Muslim and is accountable to God”. Well what’s the problem? Why do these Ahmadi articles never point this fact out? They believe everyone outside their group is non-Muslim so therefore Muslims state, well actually you Ahmadis are outside the fold of Islam with your novel beliefs. I mean did you even know they believe the real name of God is “Yalesh” (Tadhkirah, page 484) while Muslims believe it is Allah! Again, that’s fine but this is the distinction between Ahmadiyya and Islam.

    They also believe (selectively) in the ahadith (sayings/actions of the Prophet Muhammad) many of which clearly state stick with the largest group of Muslims [Tirmidhi, Imam Ahmad, Abu Daud, Mishkat], stay with the main body [Imam Ahmad] of the community, go with the largest majority [Ibne Majah] for they will never be misguided. And I don’t need to tell any of you who the largest majority of Muslims are in the world, it certainly isn’t the Ahmadiyya.

    Now if you want to argue this point in terms of the Holy Qu’ran as many Ahmadis blindly claim that they do not regard anyone as unbelievers for rejecting their prophet Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (who claims he is greater in status than the Prophet Jesus, a belief Muslims condemn strongly) then please refer to the following verses of the Holy Qu’ran:

    [4:150] Those who deny Allah and His messengers, and (those who) wish to separate Allah from His messengers, saying: “We believe in some but reject others”: And (those who) wish to take a course midway,-

    [4:151] They are in truth (equally) unbelievers; and we have prepared for unbelievers a humiliating punishment.

    The Holy Qu’ran is clear, you can’t pick and choose which prophets to believe in and which not to believe in, so in Islam you’re an unbeliever if you believe in Moses but do not believe in Jesus. Likewise this verse in the resonates in the Ahmadiyya faith who claim they believe in the Holy Qu’ran. It therefore, from their point of view applies to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. They can’t willy nilly change this and say actually you can reject this “prophet”, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (who is allegedly superior in status to Jesus) and still be a believer. Absolute nonsense.

    Every single article on the Ahmadiyya ignores this point. Some honest journalism wouldn’t do anyone harm. Try and grasp these points before jumping on the Muslim bashing bandwagon. Ahmadiyya is not Islam, they condemn the whole Muslim population as non-believers who follow a dead religion and yet they cry at being labelled non-Muslim, the irony. You need to go deeper than what you perceive on the surface.

    …Ahmadis are not even allowed to have a Facebook account, so much for freedom of speech. Of course you didn’t know that and now you think I’m making it up. Well read it for yourself from their official website: http://www.alislam.org/egazette/faq/facebook-policy/

    How about those that attend mixed marriages i.e. where males and females are not segregated, do you know what happens to them? Of course you don’t, they are publicly humiliated and expelled from this religion. You think I’m making this up too? Read the letters they send out for yourself: http://thecult.info/blog/2010/12/31/ahmadiyya-wedding-nazis-mass-public-expulsions/

    I don’t even want to go to how they believe the Church is the anti-Christ and all the vile writings of their prophet, including all those who do not revere his books being labelled “the children or prostitutes”. I guess some people can’t see past their PR campaigns.

  5. I’ll bet they replace Adbus Salam with A Q Khan as the shining example of what Pakistan has to offer the world.

  6. Good point, Mike A., to which I’ll supplement by noting that anti-intellectualism is also a trait of fascism and other top-down political ideologies and social hierarchies. Power and authority does not like to be questioned, ergo, questioning power and authority integral to keep them acting honestly and not against your best interests.

  7. Anti-intellectualism is a universal trait of religious fundamentalists. There is only a difference in degree between the Pakistani treatment of Dr. Ahmad and the Texas Education Commission.

  8. He is my kind of heretic–no more religious wars and live in peace.
    Fundamentalism never respects thought or thinkers but lets not get too smug here in the US. Do you remember the decision in Texas to remove Thomas Jefferson from the history text books?

  9. For Christ’s sake. If truth be known and told, the guy labeled it as the Dog Particle. Then the framers of the theory put the name Higgs Boson on it in an effort to give it a human name– attributable to some fat guy named Higgs stomach. If truth be known, whole physics thing is a farce. There is only one Dog, one Particle, one Earth and millions of dumb Pakistanis. If the U.S. had let the Russians keep Afghanistan and had the U.S. not paid Saudis like al-Sawari and other al qaeda to run the Russians out, we might have equality of gender in Afghanistan and by now Pakistan. Instead we reversed any sense of progress (kind of like Dog spelled backwards) and ended up with the Taliban, Islamic nuts, and female enslavement.

  10. Pakistani children however are (not) told of his existence, let alone his work, because of his faith.
    —————————————–
    Aren’t you glad the World is so much bigger than the base, ego-driven, reactionary, fundamentalists? The history of the World will reflect the oppression, not deny the existance of Adbus Salam and the Ahmadi.
    What is sad is the effect that remembrance will have in forming the Worlds understanding of the nature of Pakistani peoples…

  11. Anonymously Yours 1, July 9, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Censorship….. AN age old tradition…… Coming sooner than you think…..
    ======================================
    Yes.

    This is the brazen, out-in-the-open form.

    The one most often practised type of censorship through the U.S. media is the ad hominem which attacks the individual or group that has found out something the censor managers do not want the public to know.

    Those whom they convince that the author, artist, or speaker who is conveying that damaging information is a bad guy will not read, listen to, or observe that person’s work.

    Thus a type of censorship has taken place, because that is the objective of censorship … to prevent someone’s expression.

  12. The “god” particle is something of an inside joke among physicists, as Higgs is an atheist and the nickname attributed in a book by Leon Lederman about the Higgs Boson was the “goddamned” particle, changed by his publisher for fear that it would anger religious types.

  13. Censorship….. AN age old tradition…… Coming sooner than you think…..

  14. Egregious typos need to be corrected. Twice, statements that should be in the negative are in the positive. Last sentence of first paragraph and last sentence of the piece. Both could be remedied by the appropriately placed addition of the word “not”.

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