13 Nobel Laureates From Muslim Countries

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In my article The Triumph of the English Language, I wrote that only one person (Ahmed Zewail) born in an Arabic-speaking country has ever won a scientific Nobel Prize. I was wrong; there were at least three science Laureates born in Arabic-speaking countries which I note below (marked with an asterisk).

What I should have written: only one Muslim born in an Arabic-speaking country has ever won a scientific Nobel Prize.

Please note that recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize are omitted since they were not rewarded for any intellectual achievement. In addition, allow me to mention a comment left by a reader that Muslims are ignored for Nobel Prizes because of a prejudice in Sweden against anyone born in a Muslim country. So in addition to those born in an Arabic-speaking country, let's look at those who have won a Nobel Prize and also were born in a country with a significant Muslim population.

#Country% Muslim LaureateAwardYearReligion
1Azerbaijan98.4Lev LandauPhysics1962Jew
2Algeria98.2Albert CamusLiterature1957Catholic/Atheist
3*Algeria98.2Claude Cohen-TannoudjiPhysics1997Jew
4Bosnia and Herzegovina41.6Vladimir PrelogChemistry1975Non-Muslim Agnostic
5Bosnia and Herzegovina41.6Ivo AndricLiterature1961Catholic
6*Egypt94.7Ahmed ZewailChemistry1999Muslim
7Egypt94.7Naguib MahfouzLiterature1988Muslim
8Iran99.7Doris LessingLiterature2007Catholic
9*Morocco99.9Serge HarochePhysics2012Jew
10Nigeria47.9Wole SoyinkaLiterature1986non-Muslim Atheist
11Pakistan96.4Abdus SalamPhysics1979Muslim
12Pakistan96.4Har Gobind KhoranaMedicine1968Hindu
13Turkey98.6Orhan PamukLiterature2006Cultural Muslim

So if the Swedish Academy has a bias against those born in Muslim countries, it is a weak bias indeed. Noteworthy is the fact that there are almost as many Jewish Nobel Laureates born in Muslim countries as Muslim Nobel Laureates born anywhere. Those pesky Jews, always making the few Muslim accomplishments look even shabbier by comparison.

By the way, just to put it in perspective:

  1. There is 1 Jew for every 500 people on this planet while 1 out of every 5 Nobel prizes have been won by a Jew (or someone of Jewish descent).

  2. There is 1 Muslim for every 4 people on this planet while 1 out of every 212 Nobel prizes have been won by a Muslim.

Taking out my calculator app I was able to determine that if Jews were as numerous as Muslims, then they would have won 21,250 Nobel Prizes. Sadly, there have only been 850 Nobel awards given to individuals. Perhaps that's why God made so few Jews to keep the awards ceremonies from being too over-filled with Jews.

For the names of past Jewish and Muslim Nobel Laureates see my article Muslim Inventions - Nobel Prizes

This has been a Thursday 13 post [# 105] and is updated on some Thursdays.

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