MembersHow Do Atheists Fare in the Muslim World?

Most are afraid to reveal their beliefs, while others flee to the internet

By Rami Dabbas | | Topics: Islam
Men read the Koran in a local mosque, as is expected of them in a Muslim society. Photo: Ahmad Khateib/Flash90

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.”

Israel Today Membership

Become a Member

  • Read all member content

    Get exclusive in-depth reports from Israel.

  • Get exclusive in-depth reports from Israel

    Connect with Israel, right from your home.

  • Lift up the voice of truth and hope

    Support Jerusalem-based Zionist journalism.

Already a member? .