Arabs Are Getting More Religious. Why Isn’t Western Media Reporting It?

You might remember how in 2019 the Western media was ecstatic because an Arab Barometer survey found that Arabs, apparently, were getting less religious.

A research project commissioned by the BBC Arabic division and conducted at the Princeton University, it was a large-scale study of some 25,000 individuals across many of the largest Arab countries.

Respondents were asked questions on different matters, such as family life, politics and religion.

The BBC cheerfully titled their article on the results: “Are Arabs turning their backs on religion?

It reported:

Since 2013, the number of people across the region identifying as “not religious” has risen from 8% to 13%. The rise is greatest in the under 30s, among whom 18% identify as not religious, according to the research. Only Yemen saw a fall in the category.

Other Western media outlets were as excited: The Guardian wrote: “Arab world turns its back on religion.” The Times wrote: “Arabs are losing their religion in backlash against Islamists.”

Liberals Westerners and apostates were overjoyed. Finally, our imposition of societal liberalism on the Arab world is bearing fruits! Finally, the Muslim family system will implode, LGBTQIA2S+ will spread, and the liberal ideal will be realized in this last holdout known as the Muslim world!

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Even back then, many “analysts” advised caution with the conclusions, such as Shadi Hamid or even Michael Robbins, director of the Arab Barometer, who said in 2020:

It is worth noting that only a minority of citizens in any country across the region describe themselves as not religious. Overall, the region remains overwhelmingly religious and will be so for years to come based on current trends.

But the Arab Barometer does such surveys regularly, and its “Wave VI,” released in 2021, is bad news for liberal secularists.

We will look at the following countries: Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, as that’s the data available (as of now), but obviously you can generalize the trends to the wider Arab world (as they did in the 2018 survey, which did not include a nation as significant as Saudi Arabia).

This is what the “Wave V” found in 2018, i.e., the results which titillated and excited the whole liberal world:



Now, contrast it with “Wave VI” from 2021:


We see the following: apart from Lebanon, in every other country the “religious” category saw a huge upsurge, nearly doubling in Morocco and nearly tripling in Algeria, eating numbers from the “somewhat religious” and “not religious” categories in the process.

Also, as for Lebanon, the outlier, if you dig into the statistics, religiosity indeed went down, but it’s due to the secularized Christians. So Christian missionaries, who were happy to see “Islam die” in 2018, really have nothing to rejoice about with these latest numbers.

You can see the raw data for yourself by clicking here.

So, in conclusion, if anything, Arabs are getting more committed to Islam, al-hamduliLlah.

It will surely make all the liberals — whether atheist, Christian, or apostate — quite sad to know that they won’t be seeing drag kids and drag sermons in mosques in the Muslim world anytime soon.

Is this the real reason why the Western media hasn’t reported these most recent statistics, like they did with such enthusiasm and glee back in 2019?

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A muslim

In the recent 3-5 years you can see it clearly as the ulama scholars became more famous and had an upper voice.
People just need someone to represent teir religious identity.


I hope its a sign of khayr. May Allah increase the regrets and sorrow of our enemies


I don’t question the article which is merely reporting data, but “nearly doubling in Morocco and nearly tripling in Algeria” within a couple of years is bit hard to believe. Religiousness is something quite profound which is unlikely to change so much so fast across entire populations. Or am I missing something?


Iraq being the most “religious” of those countries is extremely unlikely. Religiously (and ethnically) pluralistic countries like Iraq and Lebanon tend to have populations that on average are less religious. They have to water down their religions the be able to live together.

The more homogeneous a country the more religious they will be, see: Somalia, Algeria, Morocco. Opposite are counties like Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. The Gulf is becoming less religious because of increased pluralism.

Ahmed Ahmed

The umayid caliphate, the abbasid caliphate, cordoba, Mamluk dynasty, saljuk dynasty , ottoman empire
All of those places where highly ethnically and religiously diverse without people watering down their religion
And even tell now in Egypt Coptic Christians are living very well with muslims since islam arrived to egypt.
Jordan is ethnically diverse, with kurds, arabs, Turks, and Armenians living together without watering down their religion.
Problems started wih the secularisation of


Sunni Muslims are the overwheling majority of the populatioin in Egypt and Jordan. Egypt is plus 90% Sunni Muslim…Jordan plus 95%.

Lebanon is roughly 1/3 Christian (many denominations), 1/3 Shiite and 1/3 Sunni. No one group is numerically dominant.

Iraq is roughly 60% Sunni and 40% Shiite. The issue is that Kurds are counted, for political reasons, as an indepenent group despite being overwhelmingly Sunni.

The Ummayyads, Abbassids etc. were outspoken Muslim states.


You’re partly wrong. Umayyads and Ottomans had a bit of racism against Non-Arabs and Non-Turks respectively (similar to many Turks and Arabs today), but otherwise, Umayyads, Abbasids and Ottomans were very much comparatively “liberal” “moderate Muslims” by your standards, similar to today’s Arabian gulf states. Not as liberal as the woke west with LGBT pride and legal p0rn, but liberal compared to Muslim Skeptic’s beloved IEA/Talibs, by having far less social-cultural restrictions than them.

Ahmed Ahmed

Problems started with he secularisation of the ottoman empire, spread of secular arab nationalism by colonial powers, and of course sanctions, coups and invasions by the lovely USA


The problems started much earlier. Secularism and nationalism are symptoms of weak imaan. Before this the Muslim world was already embroiled in superstition, grave worship and other forms of open shirk and innovated practices.

You can only be colonised if you’re weak in the first place.

Sa’ed Alarmouti

First: By the will of Allah, and the hard work of the Musliheen, change can happen quickly.

Second: this change in the past two years can be the fruit of the years long projects of scholars

Thirdly: online programs in the Arab world for seeking knowledge such as “Bina’ Al manhaji” by Ahmad Al Sayed for example are thriving in such a magnificent way

Lastly: I’ve noticed how many people came back to Allah, started praying in the lockdown that happened


 “not religious” means something completely different in the Arab world than it does in the West. When an Arab tells you he’s not religious it is likely he means he’s not practicing….unlike among westerners, where it means being agnostic or atheist.


People might also say they are not religious out of humbelness too.

another akh

Somewhat true. If you have a person that doesn’t pray for example, then they are still on the wrong path. There is no Islam without prayer, and those who leave it completely will not be saved from the fire on the day of judgment. So if you have a person labeling themselves as not religious because they don’t pray, then that’s already a big problem. Such a person will have difficulties raising their children to become Muslims, and I’ve seen this in person. You cannot give what you do not have.

Sa’ed Alarmouti

It is important to note that “religious” in the Arab world usually but wrongfully means that they “don’t grow a beard” or that they “listen to music” or “sometimes flirts with woman” even tho they pray the five daily prayers, they read Qur’an, are righteous to their parents and neighbors and maybe even seek knowledge


I think conducting a survey like this in Saudi Arabia/Egypt/U.A.E. is very difficult and would likely yield false results due to repressive anti-Islam regime where people would be afraid to confess their religiosity to foreign media/observers. But the trend is real and the yearn to victory from the Muslim youth is true whether the kuffar like it or not and it’s only a matter of time until that faith is translated into action. Victory is nigh In Sha Allah.


I have been to those countries you mention, and I can tell you from first hand experience that they are NOT anti-Islam secularists like France or the old pre-Erdogan turkey by banning or restricting public expression of islamic religion. In fact, as long as you don’t challenge the rulers or get involved in politics, you can easily live like the Talli-ban there (e.g. big beard, turban, long white robes, go mosque 5x daily, avoid music and movies/entertainment, women being niqabi housewife, etc.)



Canadian Revert

I think one of the reasons why religiosity has grown so much in these countries is because of Covid. The financial and social hardships likely inspired a lot more prayer and devotion, subhanAllah.