Atheism in Iraq
In a poll released in April 2011, by the now-defunct Erbil-based Kurdish news agency AKnews, ordinary Iraqi citizens were asked “Do you believe in God”? The answers were quite surprising for this Middle Eastern country, home to many holy sites for Muslims, Christians, Jews, and many other religions; 67% answered yes, 21% probably yes, 4% probably no, 7% no, and 1% had no answer.
According to Nawaf Al-Kaabi, a 23-year old university student from Basrah in southern Iraq, the number of atheists could be much higher if that poll was held in 2014.
“The new generation of Iraqis are tired of religious extremists and politicians, who are responsible for the ongoing sectarian divide in the country,” he says.This could be another data point in the modern world pattern that religious skepticism takes off most in countries where religion becomes a tool of politics, and especially political conflict.