Congratulations to Mariam Sultana, reportedly Pakistan’s first PhD in astrophysics. (Or in the subfield of extragalactic astrophysics, according to another news site. Either way, it’s a laudable achievement.)
I knew women scientists have an especially difficult time in very conservative Muslim countries.
I didn’t know astrophysicists (presumably, both male and female) had to pass an extra hurdle: apparently, illiterate Islamists don’t know the difference between astrophysics and astrology. The practice of astrology, like other forms of fortune telling, is considered haraam, a sin against Allah.
Am I ever so glad that I live in an enlightened, secular country.
One of Dr. Sultana’s (I am boldly assuming that Sultana is her last name, though I am well aware that Pakistani naming conventions do not necessarily follow Western traditions) examiners was James Binney, whose name is well known to anyone involved with galactic astrophysics; the book colloquially known as “Binney and Tremaine” (the real title is Galactic Dynamics) is considered one of the field’s “bibles”. (Darn, I hope no religious fanatic misconstrues the meaning of “bible” in the preceding sentence!)
I wish Dr. Sultana the brightest career. Who knows, maybe I’ll run into her one day somewhere, perhaps at the Perimeter Institute.