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In the minds of many, to be an Arab is to be a Muslim by default. Islam is often treated as an inextricable part of Arab culture, while in reality the situation is far more complex. Although some religious minorities have found ways of reconciling their Arab identity with their beliefs, a much greater challenge faces the growing number of Arabs who identify as atheists, agnostics, or skeptics. Emboldened by the political upheavals of the Arab spring and facilitated by the growth of social media, they are an increasingly vocal and assertive presence in Arab societies, despite risking imprisonment, ostracism, and death.
In Arabs Without God, Brian Whitaker explores the roots and consequences of this phenomenon, as well as the experiences of those living as non-believers in Muslim countries. Passionate and controversial, this book argues that these developments, previously ignored by Western observers, are vitally important for the future of Arab societies.
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Brian Whitaker was formerly Middle East editor at the Guardian and is the founder of al-Bab.com, a Middle Eastern politics site.
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