Special focus: Godless Arabs and Muslims

 
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Here you will find years of coverage of the under-reported issues relating to non-believers of an Arab and Muslim background. Yes, they do exist.

Atheists are carving out a space in the Arab world's narrowly defined religious landscape. Photo: ©Khaled Diab

Atheists are carving out a space in the Arab world’s narrowly defined religious landscape. Photo: ©Khaled Diab

The Arab world’s rebels without a god

March 2014 – In Egypt and other Arab countries, the atheism taboo has been broken. Atheists are rebelling against the status quo and demanding to be seen and heard.

Is atheism Egypt’s fastest-growing ‘religion’?

October 2013 – Despite the risks, more and more atheists are coming out of the closet in Egypt, emboldened by the revolution’s ethos of freedom and dignity.

إعترافات ملحد مصري

اكتوبر 2013 – رغم عدم الإعتراف بهم، الملحدين ايضاً اولاد بلد ويجب على الدولة والمجتمع ان يعطوهم حقوقهم

Confessions of an Egyptian infidel

August 2013 – Though never officially recognised, atheists and agnostics have always been part of Egypt. Society now needs to grant us our right not to believe.

Islamism is the illusion

August 2013 – Islamism is not the solution but is built on an illusion. Islam’s past strength was actually a secular one based on free thought.

Religious freedom from birth

July 2013 – Unlike eye colour and skin tone, religion is not hereditary. This reality must be reflected in Egyptian identity documents and personal status laws.

Egypt’s clash of freedoms

July 2013 – Events in Egypt are not just a conflict between Islamists, secularists and the military. It is a fundamental clash over conflicting ideas of “freedom”.

The mash of civilisations

September 2012 – There is no conflict between Islam and the West – only clashes of interests between and within them. But there is a very real mash of civilisations.

Holy month, holy city, unholy Egyptian

August 2012 – Even for a non-believing Egyptian, Ramadan in Jerusalem – where the three Abrahamic faiths coincide and oft collide – is a fascinating experience.

Secular Egypt: dream or delusion?

December 2011 – Is Egypt on the road to theocracy or will it manage to build a secular, pluralist democracy?

The sacred right to ‘insult’

October 2011 – Jailing Egyptians for insulting religion and the military goes against the revolution’s spirit, and violates people’s secular and sacred rights.

Atheists: Egypt’s forgotten minority

July 2011 – Egyptian atheists and religious sceptics are a minority that exists in reality but not in official statistics.

Less Catholic than the pope

October 2010 – ‘Catholic’ education thrives in Belgium, but the decision between principle and pragmatism is not easy when choosing a school.

A question of upbringing

April 2010 – In multicultural families, deciding on where to raise your child is no easy matter and has profound implications for the future.

Faith in our children

November 2009 – Much as we’d like our children to hold the same things dear as we do, we should have enough faith in them to let them choose their own belief system.

Why doesn’t God use Faithbook?

September 2010 – If God wants to reach out to humanity, why rely on prophets and scripture when he presumably has the power to connect with each of us directly?

Face to faith: Ramadan for the faith-challenged

August 2009 – Ramadan possesses a certain secular appeal but fasting requires the non-believer to square the philosophical circle.

The mythical European Umma

August 2009 – Given that only about 4% of the EU’s population is Muslim, why is the fear of a coming Eurabia so strong in certain quarters?

Promises of immortality

July 2009 – An English scientist is on a one-man mission to eliminate mortality – but would you like to live in a society without death?

On a ring and a prayer

March 2009 – God now has a number. Sadly, it goes straight to voicemail, but I’ve got my messages ready. What about you?

Contemplating God-free zones

July 2008 – Britain is not entirely godless – but whether you or I believe in God is up to us to decide, not the cardinals, imams or rabbis.

Jailhouse blog

November 2007 – On Friday, people of all faiths will join forces outside Egyptian embassies to express solidarity with a jailed blogger.

Faith and punishment

August 2007 – In Islam, apostasy and faithlessness are sins, but they are not worldly crimes. Those who claim otherwise are making a mistake.

June 2007 – Ridiculing and questioning Islam, Muhammad, the Qur’an and religion in general is an ancient tradition in Muslim countries.
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