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Nobel Prizes for Muslims

 

By Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed

President, IRFI, Louisville, KY

 

This year (2006) two Noble Prizes are awarded to two Muslims. One went to Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering use of tiny, seemingly insignificant loans - microcredit - to lift millions out of poverty.

 

The Second Nobel Prize is awarded to the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk and he won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature.  In 1988, Naguib Mahfouz of Egypt received the Nobel Prize in Literature.   Professor Ahmed H. Zewail of Caltech, an Egyptian born American received the Noble Prize in Chemistry in 1999.

 

This is a record year for Muslims as two of them got the Nobel prizes in one year.

 

Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh is the Fifth Muslim to receive the Nobel Prize in Peace.  The majority of Muslims who won the Nobel Prize are in the category for Peace.

The Egyptian president the late Anwar El-Sadat was awarded in 1978. The lateYasser Arafat of Palestine received it in 1994. The only Muslim woman to win the Nobel Prize, Shirin Ebadi of Iran was honored in 2003 and Director General of the International Atomic Energy (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei received it last year (2005 ).

 

The late Professor Abdus Salam of Pakistan was the first to receive a Nobel Prize and it was in Physics.

 

Ferid Murad, the 1998 winner in Physiology or Medicine was born to an Albanian Muslim father, but is himself an Episcopalian. So no Muslim has won a Noble Prize in Physiology/Medicine or in Economics.

 

So far nine Muslims have won the Nobel Prizes and this is a dismal record for a population of 1.4 billion Muslims in the world. Muslims have been liberated from the colonial rule for over 50 years now and must solve the problems of illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, and corruption on a war footing. They should reduce their Defence/Military budget and divert it to promoting education, science and technology, health and employment.

 

Ironically the west labels Muslims as "Islamic Terrorists" and the west also honors them with Nobel Prizes in Peace. Actually "Islam" means Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

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