Maryam Jamshidi

A Look at the Life of Atheism in Egypt

May 14, 2014

The number of Egypt’s open atheists is on the rise. After the revolutions, many youth chose to do things differently than their parents, including questioning religion. When a society forces religion, its people to push back;and  in this case, it is causing an increasing number of youth to not believe in God. 

One young man who was interviewed by Al-Monitor explains his choice to abandon religion during this time: “I can no longer understand how God, whom everyone calls just, would accept that my innocent friends died during the revolution, that I lost people I loved and that I suffer for their death, without me having committed a sin to be punished for.”

When writing this article, Al-Monitor found that it was difficult to openly interview many atheists living in Egypt–some not providing their actual name, and many plainly refusing–for fear of judgment or even persecution. Egypt’s culture is not particularly welcoming to open non-believers in God; although Egypt’s constitution permits freedom of expression, Egyptian law still permits trial in court on contempt of religion. In society, women tend to receive a harsher punishment from family and elders–people who grew up in a different Egypt from today’s post-Arab Spring country. Not only is society hostile to atheists, but the media also treats those who do not believe in God with negative bias.

To read more from Al-Monitor, click here.

Written by Sonja Trierweiler, social media specialist and blogger on the Middle East.