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By Mike Ghouse
On October 13, 2014, Dawn News paper Published, "a letter from Dr. Abdus Salam to Malala" at http://www.dawn.com/news/1137319/a-letter-from-dr-abdus-salam-to-malala which is produced below. Thanks for publishing it.
On October 10, 2014, three days before Dawn published, I wrote at http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2014/10/malala-and-dr-abdus-salam-two-nobel.html
A few years ago, when I was searching for Muslim Nobel laureates, I found Dr. Abdus Salam's name, but Pakistan did not list him. Here, I am trying to take pride in listing Muslims who have made it, and this country which was created for Muslims did not honor him properly, not only that they have desecrated his name and title on his headstone. Is anyone going to do anything about it?
Justice for Sunni Muslims regardless of injustice to others is not Justice. Quran talks about justice for all - it talks about telling the truth even if it goes against you. There are numerous examples set by Khulfa-e-Rashidun where they punished their own kith and kin for a complaint of injustice lodged by Jews, Christians and others of that time. What's wrong with the Pakistani people to deny Ahmadiyya their rights (if you are not aware of it, please Google) -what is sad and shameful is the attitudes of Pakistani Americans living here in the United States who want to deprive Ahmadiyya from every possible human right. Should America do to them, what Pakistan does to Ahmadiyya? Do Pakistani American voices have strength?
We may have to ask Pew research to do a survey, if Muslims understand the word Justice means justice for every party or just them. Second part of that survey is how much brainwashing is done to Pakistanis after Bhutto-Zia combine passed the laws declaring Ahmadi's to be non-Muslims? Had it not been for the laws, and had it not been for Maududi, would Pakistanis have developed so much hatred for fellow Pakistanis?
I felt saddened, when Dean Obeidallah (not sure his origin) on facebook produced a picture of Muslim Nobel Prize Laureates that did not include Dr. Abdus Salam.
What I see is deliberate attempt of Pakistani Authorities to not give credit to an Ahmadi Muslim, that brainwashing has done it to Malala and Dean Obeidallah and many a current generation of Pakistani Muslims. I wonder if Malala were an Ahmadi, or a future scientist from Ahmadiyya Muslim Community wins, would Pakistan deny him or her rightful place in their history. If you read about Dr. Salam, despite the treatment, he preferred Pakistan; he was one of the greatest Patriots of Pakistan.
|Of course there are many more Muslims, but missing the one whose name continues to be appreciated in the scientific community is not Kosher|
As a Muslim I am speaking up, would you?
A Sunni Muslims
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Now here is that letter from Dawn
Despite all that occurred, I'd always lugged around with me a sliver of optimism. They referred to me as Pakistan's 'only' Nobel laureate; I insisted on being called the "first".
I was born in a small town called Santokh Das; arguably not as beautiful as your Swat valley, but it did have much to offer. I grew up in Jhang, a city now tainted by its name's association with dangerous groups.
My father was an education officer working for the Punjab government. I have a feeling your father would've liked him.
Like you, I took a keen interest in my studies. I enjoyed English and Urdu literature, but excelled at mathematics. At a very young age, I scored the highest marks ever recorded then, in my matriculation exam.
My education, however, was never as politically challenging as yours.
I did not have to contend with the Taliban destroying my school, or forbidding boys from receiving education. But whatever barriers they constructed in your way, you bravely broke through them.
In fact, you continue to defy them with every breath you take.
Winning the Nobel Prize has enraged your attackers, as it has annoyed many of your countrymen.
It takes courage to walk through it all, and knowing you, courage is not in short supply.
Not a lot has changed in this country. You were mocked and alienated by your countrymen, when you did nothing wrong. I know something of that.
As a nation, we do not want to be celebrated.
What we wish for is to be pitied.
They were pleased with you as long as you were another local victim. But then, you cast off your victimhood and emerged as a hero, a beacon of hope for young girls around the world. That's where you lost them.
We don't like heroes, Malala.
We like battered souls that we can showcase to the world. We want to humiliate the 'colonialists' and the 'imperialists' for their crimes, real or imagined, against the Muslims of the subcontinent.
We want them to acknowledge the Iqbalian paradise we lost to the plots and schemes of the 'outsiders'. Any mention of the incalculable harm caused by perpetrators within us, does not assist that narrative.
We do not want to acknowledge the bigotry within, of which I know something too.
This is not something I had fully realised the day I received my Nobel Prize. Standing in ceremonial Punjabi garb among a group of men in tuxedos, I was proud to represent my country, though my country was far less thrilled being represented by me.
I was demonized and successfully disenfranchised for my religious beliefs; I was not allowed to offer lectures in certain universities due to threats of violence; my work was belittled by my own people.
I decided that working abroad was better than being treated as foreigner in my own homeland. That only gave further wind to the hurtful theories about me being a 'traitor' to my country.
Now, the mantle passes to you, dearest child.
And with it, I regret to pass onto you the heart-wrenching burden it brings.
You are the new 'traitor'.
You are presented with the dire challenge of bringing peace and pride to a country, that doesn't want your gift.
Like a mother of a particularly rebellious child, you must find a way to love them nonetheless. Eventually, I pray, they will understand.
I had the privilege of being the first to offer this country a Nobel Prize. But now there are two of us.
And, I'm still counting.
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To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. Our work is geared towards building a cohesive society where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. World Muslim congress is a think tank and a forum with the express goal of nurturing pluralistic values embedded in Islam to build cohesive societies. If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept each other's uniqueness, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Mike Ghouse is a Muslim Speaker thinker and a writer.