A reminder from a courageous man that some of us really do have it easy.


A couple of weeks ago I met a man on Twitter who is an ex-Muslim atheist living in Saudi Arabia.  He and I have talked a little, and at the end of last week I asked him if he’d be willing to write about his experiences for this blog; he very kindly obliged.

I am not going to give my new friend’s name, because atheists in Saudi Arabia can find themselves in genuine, mortal danger if they are discovered to be apostates.  I find parts of his account heartbreaking, and others hopeful and inspiring; as with Bethany’s story from the other week, though, I was struck by the similarity between my friend’s experiences and those of so many others I’ve spoken to.  It’s a strange and in some ways a very moving reflection that however different our cultures and backgrounds may be, we atheists are often so similar in how we think and how we came to reject our indoctrination.

My scepticism and outspokenness are so much parts of me that I struggle even to imagine what it must be like to be required to suppress them for my own safety.  I am glad to have met my new friend, and honoured that he consented to write this for me.  It’s a reminder to us in Europe and other places of just how lucky we are to live where we do, and of some of the reasons the fight against religion really is important despite what many of our detractors try to tell us.  But this also fills me with tremendous hope for the future; through modern technology, we are able to speak to people, share experiences and support each other from distances of thousands of miles.  I believe this new ability may in time bring about the start of an enlightenment in parts of the world where religion currently dominates.

My friend submits this with apologies for his English; I will say, though, that those apologies are entirely unnecessary as his own words needed only the most minor of tweaks from me.  I would like to thank him most sincerely for sharing this with me, and for allowing me to share it with you.

“The story of how I became an atheist.

Written By: SoggyMog
continue to source article at musingsbysoggymog.blogspot.co.uk


  1. Tremendous courage, great honesty; and for these qualities he will be murdered by the Saudi theocracy. What a country, what a world.

    Western powers are hypocrites for lauding and supporting the house of Saud; I hope to live long enough to see the oil run out and the Saudi regime collapse.

    It is to be hoped he escapes that hell on earth as soon as possible to live a life of freedom richly deserved and has painfully earned.

    Even more, the system of indoctrination that is Islam must be exposed; enough of delusions about the “Religion of Peace”

  2. This story is such an inspiration for us Atheists around the world. Living in an authoritarian regime that threatens the lives of people for being freethinkers, let alone challenging their religious beliefs, this gentleman has the courage and conviction of an inspired freethinker who is willing to struggle to out and come out as a surviver, a winner. I wish him all the best and happyness in his life.

  3. Dear SoggyM. You are indeed correct to highlight how lucky we are to live in an ‘enlightened’ Europe where most of our youth – unlike your Palestinian lad – are free to think and be influenced by any book they wish to read. Thats one of the reasons I have tried to promote an ‘RDF cool teens’ section to help – in particular – young, doubting religious people whom, like your”Pal, are intellectually alone and scared to express themselves – even to ask a simple science or philosophical question which contradicts their religion. So, well done young fellow for becoming an athiest, studying physics and biology, and ‘seeing’ thru the delusion of your own family’s faith. (Come on RDF mods! How about that idea to create an annual, Prof “Dawkins Gold  medal” award to include a very courageous, anonymous 16 year old.)        

  4. Playing with western theists is a doddle when compared to a regime where it gets you dead!

    I also think that there are far more apostates then the Islamic authorities boast, one can see why!
    The really  freaky point is that a majority of Christian fundamentalists, as well as a significant percentage of the main religions, gaze at Islam with rather jealous thoughts.
    Quite a few would just cream themselves in piousness if the same rules of  Islamic apostate status were applied to the atheists in the west!
    And not a few would consider the pyre as a suitable punishment in this day and age but settle disconsolately  mostly  for announcing in as pompous tone as possible that all Atheists will burn in hell…so a fictitious result in not believing in a fictitious reason.

    This man is a brave and intelligent human being, I wish him all the very best in life!

  5. In Islam it is orders of magnitude more wicked to reject Islam after trying it than to refuse to give it a try.  If that fact were more widely known, they would have more trouble recruiting.

  6. There is something awfully weird. The 9/11 highjackers were mostly Saudi according to W.  bin Laden was Saudi, yet Saudi Arabia gets treated as best buddy to Canada, Britain and the USA. Saudis have shocking civil rights and treatment of women.  They are a monarchy. They export extreme Wahabi Islam.Yet the bin Laden family were given special jets on 9/11 to leave the country when everyone else was in lockdown. Instead of invading Saudi Arabia and stealing their oil, the west went after Afghanistan and Iraq. The USA sells the Saudis its most advanced weapons.

    It is almost as like the Saudis hold some unspeakable blackmail on all western leaders.  They seem to be untouchable.

  7. Wow!

    And we are being asked by the “authorities” to respect all religions?

    I have no trust or respect for any of them, because they provide me with not a single reason to do so.

    I’m sure that I’m like everyone else here in wishing this chap good luck; he’s going to need it.

  8. I again demonstrates that religious leadership is about power and bullying, not about people having real faith or following spiritual paths, what ever that is.  As Mitt Romney has so wonderfully confirmed with his lying behind Mormon honesty, it is more important to have a public religion than believe the stuff.

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