Atheism is growing in Tunisia

Qantara.de - Dialogue with the Islamic World

Atheism is not a new phenomenon in the Islamic world: various important personalities in the region have already professed atheism in the past centuries. But with the establishment of social networks, a large number of young Moroccans have had the space to speak publicly about their own renunciation of faith and to criticize religion. This is especially true of Islam, to which many of these young people previously belonged.

"Paltalk" was the first medium on which the activist with the pseudonym Hisham Nousteek spoke about atheism. He later switched to the video platform YouTube, through which he now distributes videos on the subject of religion on various channels. He also runs his own website and is still very active on his Facebook page. As the first atheist in Morocco, he has also published a printed book: In "Memoirs of an Unbeliever", he describes his path from faith to atheism in the Moroccan dialect.

"A Moroccan Unbeliever"

"The Internet has fundamentally changed our lives. It has also had an impact on our beliefs and the way we address them. It was the main factor for me, with my criticism of religion and my departure from believing in the public Suddenly I was able to get in touch with people all over the world very easily and without problems, "Nousteek said in an interview with Qantara.de. His words reflect the widespread idea that social networks and the opportunity to discuss publicly and without taboos could turn large numbers of Muslims into atheists.

However, the spread of atheistic thinking on social media is not the only change the internet has brought: "Thanks to the internet, people now have access to information and resources that used to be only available in expensive books. This is how many began to question what they learned to believe as children, "explains Nousteek.

Although the activist currently lives in Canada, he still does not reveal his identity. However, this has personal reasons that are independent of his current whereabouts, according to Nousteek. In the western world, too, there are still many atheists who would withhold their convictions from friends and family, at work and in other contexts. This makes it difficult to officially determine the actual number of atheists in the world.

In contrast to Nousteek, who mainly focuses on his personal experiences, the operator of the channel "Fiq" (Wake up!) Does not address his private life. Instead, he criticizes Islam on various levels in his videos titled "Tsarfi'atoun" (slap in the face): Topics include women's rights, the scientific miracles in the Koran, and the truth about the Kaaba, the central Islamic shrine.