Is Pakistani Public responsible for such an act?
Just read the following piece in Dawn and coming to terms with our bigotry. Enough has been written about the topic. A few among us are disgustingly against the ideals of Islam; one of them is shirk. This time it is not associating someone with God, but taking over God’s domain of decision making.
Did Muslims ask General Zia Ul Haq and President Bhutto, if they believed in the Day of Judgment? Did they say who is Allah to Judge ? They were the Judges. What a shame and embarrassment to Islam.
Furthermore, the Muslims around the world ought to be outraged for stripping them from a Nobel Laureate. We have very few and these guys have the gall to purge Dr. Salam from the history? What a shame! As a Muslim I am outraged.
It is a serious question for us, each one of us to think.
The Pakistani Dictators acted like Herman Cain who hopes to get support from the fundamentalist with hate comments about Muslims and Muslim Doctors. If he gets elected, then Pakistani dictators would be justified in bulldozing the rights of fellow Muslims. They did it to appease the fundamentalist and not Allah or the Prophet, Cain is following their lead to appease a few extremists. It is not about religion, it is about power and control.
Last week, a friend was re-applying for the lost Pakistani Passport and was stuck at the declaration he had to initial – that as a Muslim he /she declares that Ahmadiyya are not Muslims. I could not believe that. So we are Muslims, because we take pleasure in denying others their Muslimness? How shallow can we be? What is a greater shame is a substantial number of Muslims have chosen to side line God, rather push God aside and act God. This should not be acceptable. Quraan is telling us that God alone is the Master of the day of Judgment.
We have had serious debates about the issue – if you went with the mob you are a good guy, but if you speak about justice to fellow humans, then you get hounded. If I remain silent, no matter what happens I will be a good guy, especially when it comes to justice to Ahmadiyya.
What makes us Muslims? Among other things, being just is what makes us Muslim. To be a Muslim is to be just and believe that God alone is the master of the Day of Judgment. I am proud to be a Muslim, the least I can do is speak up against tyranny.
I am glad none of the bigots like Cain, Gingrich and others have justified their bigotry towards American Muslims, because we are bigots in Muslim nations. What is our defense if they do?
Salaam Abdus Salam
Mohammad Abdus Salam (1926-1996) was his full name, which may add to the knowledge of those who wish he was either not Ahmadi or Pakistani. The man proudly lived and died as both, and much more, as Pakistan disowned him, in life and in death. The government denied him the honour of a state funeral; the media remained absent from the burial ceremony at Rabwah, which has since been renamed not after Abdus Salam but as Chenab Nagar, just to spite its Ahmadi residents.
The restyled epitaph at his grave near his native Jhang awkwardly reads: “First —— Nobel Laureate”, from which the word “Muslim” has been deleted under court orders; the court, even in its narrow mindedness could have ordered the replacement of “Muslim” with “Pakistani” but that was not to be. This son of Jhang is less known in his own country today than the terrorist Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, even though he had founded and led an abler lashkar (brigade) of some 500 Pakistani physicists and mathematicians over the years whom he arranged to send to UK and US universities on scholarship for higher studies.
He was the guiding spirit and founder of Pakistan’s nuclear programme as well as Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco). The pygmies who after him headed the two institutes he was allowed to set up in Pakistan in his pre-non-Muslim years have since been credited with laurels, and honoured more, even in their dishonourable conduct, as father of this and that, while the Godfather remains conspicuous by his absence in official records.
Dr Salam became the victim of rigid social attitudes and state discrimination against his community when Z.A. Bhutto through an act of parliament declared the Ahmadis non-Muslim in 1974. Heartbroken at the humiliation, he left Pakistan in protest to live in Europe where in 1979 he was awarded the Nobel for his groundbreaking research in theoretical physics; soon roads were named after him in Geneva and Trieste, if not in Islamabad or Jhang. The same year, as it happened, Bhutto was hanged by Gen Zia’s kangaroo court, but the Ahmadis’ predicament was Bhutto’s only legacy that Zia embraced wholeheartedly and built on even further. Despite being given the roughshod, Dr Salam from his institute in Italy, continued to patronise bright Pakistani scientists and students through a scholarship programme. His alma mater Government College, Lahore, which has named its mathematics and physics departments after Dr Salam, and Pakistan Post, which issued a two-rupee stamp to honour him, remain the only state institutions to have acknowledged him.
The nascent rock band aptly named as Beghairat Brigade, of Aalu Anday fame, has hit the nail on the spot with their lyrics of the popular song which rightly laments: aithe Abdus Salm noon puchhdai koi nai (nobody values Abdus Salam here) as they point out that murderers Qadri and Qasab have become our heroes. His birth anniversary, January 29, remains a long shot from being celebrated as Dr Abdus Salam Day, even though we invent anomalies like the Yaum-i-Takbir (atomic detonation day) and Sindhi Culture Day, amongst the myriad others, that are officially marked on our calendar. How truly unworthy is Pakistan of its only Nobel laureate.
Rest in peace, Dr Salam.
The writer is a member of the staff at Dawn Newspaper.