In the “cradle of Islam,” a growing number of people are quietly declaring themselves nonbelievers

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God tells in Qur’an, ” … Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error …” [2:256]

This is Islam’s unambiguous affirmation of freedom of faith, which also applies to changing of faith. The Qur’an illuminates before the humanity the two highways [90:10], one of which leads to salvation. Islam is an invitation to the highway toward salvation, but it is based on


The role of the Prophet was to explain what it means.  To paraphrase his quote, you cannot force anyone to believe what they don’t, it has to come from within and if they can see the value in it.

The sad part of religion, any religion be it Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism or the others, a majority of the folks get it, some don’t.  No one should trample on one’s freedom to eat, drink, wear, or believe what he wants. There shall be no compulsion.

Indeed, Islam or any religion thrives where there is freedom. Saudi Arabia can enforce their extreme rules as the policy of their government but not as Islam. I cannot call it repugnant, because in the United States we still have the Death Penalty, and our Congressmen and Senators still make stupid remarks about women. Had we not had the rule of law, or if we vote in the conservatives by mistake, we can see them want to emulate Saudi Arabia when it comes to LGTB, Women’s rights and other rights.

Freedom of speech, assembly and expression are the way to go, the governments have to be righteous to feel secure. Indeed, I can safely conclude,  freedom is directly proportional to how secure the government is, and Saudi Government (Not Islamic) is not, will crumble within two decades.

Mike Ghouse
Center for Pluralism

Studies in Social, religious, cultural, Gender, Political and work Place Pluralism. Pluralism is neither a religion nor rule of law, it is merely our attitude of “Respecting the otherness of others.” and accepting the God-given uniqueness of each one of the 7.2 Billion of us.

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, GlobalPost

Atheism explodes in Saudi Arabia, despite state-enforced ban 
Worshippers outside of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia (Credit: Associated Press)

Worshippers outside of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia (Credit: Associated Press)

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost

Global Post JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — In this country known as the cradle of Islam, where religion gives legitimacy to the government and state-appointed clerics set rules for social behavior, a growing number of Saudis are privately declaring themselves atheists.
The evidence is anecdotal, but persistent.

“I know at least six atheists who confirmed that to me,” said Fahad AlFahad, 31, a marketing consultant and human rights activist. “Six or seven years ago, I wouldn’t even have heard one person say that. Not even a best friend would confess that to me.”

A Saudi journalist in Riyadh has observed the same trend.

“The idea of being irreligious and even atheist is spreading because of the contradiction between what Islamists say and what they do,” he said.

The perception that atheism is no longer a taboo subject — at least two Gulf-produced television talk shows recently discussed it — may explain why the government has made talk of atheism a terrorist offense. The March 7 decree from the Ministry of Interior prohibited, among other things, “calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based.”

The number of people willing to admit to friends to being atheist or to declare themselves atheist online, usually under aliases, is certainly not big enough to be a movement or threaten the government. A 2012 poll by WIN-Gallup International of about 500 Saudis found that 5 percent described themselves as “convinced atheist.” This was well below the global average of 13 percent.

But the greater willingness to privately admit to being atheist reflects a general disillusionment with religion and what one Saudi called “a growing notion” that religion is being misused by authorities to control the population. This disillusionment is seen in a number of ways, ranging from ignoring clerical pronouncements to challenging and even mocking religious leaders on social media.

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