Arabs Without God

Atheism and freedom of belief in the Middle East

NEW EDITION: Enlarged and updated

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.

Read the book online

Paperback edition from Amazon in:US,UK,DE,FR,ES,IT,JP,CA.

Download the Arabic edition(free of charge)

Italian editionnow available

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Comments about Arabs Without God

  • "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."
    @Blindopolison 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."
    @donatelladron 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 ofArabs 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

Interview with author– Majalla al-Mulhidin al-Arab, issue 36, November 2015. (The interview was published in Arabic but an English version can be foundhere.)

Brian Whitaker is a former Middle East editor of the Guardian newspaper. He is the author of:

Media inquiries: brianwhit99 (at)

Foreign language rights available.