Atheism and freedom of belief in the Middle East
In Arab countries, openly declaring a disbelief in God is a shocking and sometimes dangerous thing to do. Many have been imprisoned for it, some have been forced into exile and others threatened with execution.
And yet, in a region where the influence of religion is almost inescapable, growing numbers are claiming a right to believe – or disbelieve – as they see fit. Social media have given them a voice and the uprisings that toppled Arab dictators have emboldened them to speak out.
In this ground-breaking book, journalist Brian Whitaker looks at the factors that lead them to abandon religion and the challenges they pose for governments and societies that claim to be organised according to the will of God.
- See blog post for more details
- Read an extract
- Download the Arabic edition (free of charge)
- Italian edition now available
"Arabs Without God is an even-handed and sober exploration of its subject."
– Steve Royston, 59 Steps
"This book is for believers and non-believers alike."
– Youssef Aly, reader
"Well written and informative."
– @Blindopolis on Twitter
"If you're thinking about the Middle East and you haven't read Arabs Without God, you're doing it wrong."
– Matthew Teller, journalist and travel writer
"Finally somebody who talks about something else while everybody talks sectarianism and fundamentalism."
– @donatelladr on Twitter
"Acute and entertaining commentary on science versus fundamentalism."
– Andrew Brown, writer, journalist, Orwell Prize winner
"Whitaker's balanced exploration of the Arab world's new wave of atheism is well-researched and supported by numerous first-hand interviews."
– Jamila El-Gizuli, Muftah
Reviews of Arabs Without God
Muftah – 19 November 2014
Arabist – 12 September 2014
59 Steps – 9 September 2014
NOW – 1 July 2015
Visão magazine (Portugal) – 12 February 2015
New Humanist – Interview with the author of Arabs Without God, 25 November 2014
Informed Comment – 12 September 2014
Brian Whitaker is a former Middle East editor of the Guardian newspaper. He is the author of:
What's Really Wrong with the Middle East (Saqi Books)
The Birth of Modern Yemen (an e-book available online).
Media inquiries: brianwhit99 (at) gmail.com
Foreign language rights available.