We write a lot about Christians and Jews in the Arab and Muslim world, but what about those who don’t believe in a higher power at all, or at best are agnostic? The Middle East is probably the most religious region on earth. Still, we know that atheists exist and even flourish here in Israel. What about in our neighboring Muslim countries?
Before going on, it’s important to note that in Arab Muslim countries like Jordan, which will be the subject of our examination, anyone who rejects organized religion like Islam or Christianity is labeled an “atheist,” even if he or she believes in God or some higher power.
There is no documented number of atheists in Jordan, and there is no public umbrella representing them. But the Jordanian government’s issuance, five years ago, of a decision to issue smart ID cards to citizens devoid of religion constituted an outlet for them in a country whose constitution stipulates in its first article that “the religion of the state is Islam.”
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