We know it’s not easy to be an atheist in the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, for example, vocal atheism is on par with terrorism. But I didn’t realize to what extent atheists are trying to avoid detection.
According to a report at Vocativ by Inna Lazareva and Noam Binshtok, some atheists are even fasting during Ramadan just so no one will catch on.
Said one anonymous Arab atheist,
“The constant threat of being caught not fasting, which carries severe punishment of lashings and up to a year in prison, makes one vigilant and worried. Ramadan is like Christmas but you are forced to go to Mass and say your prayers, by law”.
Another anonymous atheist explained how he gamed the system:
“I stay at work without food but every now and then I go to the bathroom to drink water, and when I’m going in the morning to work I go to a hidden place in the car and take a small sandwich.”
There’s the mark of an oppressive region for you: It’s not enough that you have to suppress your dissenting thoughts. You also have to play the part of a Muslim just to keep your job and stay out of prison. Scary shit.
(Image via Shutterstock)