Egypt ‘unfortunately’ has 866 atheists says TV presenter

Egypt ‘unfortunately’ has 866 atheists says TV presenter

It’s anyone guess as to how Rania Mahmoud Yassin, above arrived at this figure, but she did insist in a November 3 broadcast on Al -Assema TV  that atheism was spreading ‘like wildfire’.

According to MEMRI TV, Yassin opened the discussion with the words:

Atheism is not a new phenomenon, but unfortunately, it exists in our society. We shall discuss it today. We shall present two opposing ideas. The truth is that this phenomenon has begun spreading like wildfire. Unfortunately, it exists in Egypt. By now, we have 866 atheists, and they have a significant presence in the social media.

This led to a bad-tempered confrontation with a guest on her show, Egyptian atheist and human rights activist Ahmed Harqan, above, who objected to her use of the word “unfortunately”.

Yassin hit back, saying:

Of course I say ‘unfortunately’. When we have in our society people who are against our religion, I must say ‘unfortunately’. I am not going to look into the camera, and say to these people: ‘Bravo for being atheists’. I’m sorry. Don’t comment on what I say. State your opinion, and that’s it. It’s none of your business what the TV hosts say.

Harqan retorted:

I’ll say what I want or I’m out of here.

After some heated exchanges, during which Harqan described all religious belief as “supersition”, Yassin snapped:

Fine, leave. Go away. We don’t want any atheists or infidels here anyway.

Ahmed Harqan:

So why did you invite me? Shame on you.

Rania Mahmoud Yassin:

We present an idea so that people may learn a lesson from it. Yes, so that people can learn a lesson from atheism, heresy, and all those disgraceful phenomena in society. Disgraceful ideas! You don’t want anyone to answer you or moderate the show …

Harqan then walked out.

In a TV discussion in 2014, Harqan claimed that ISIS was doing:

What the Prophet Muhammad and his companions did.

Wikipedia says that four days later, Harqan and his pregnant wife, Nada Mandour (Saly) Harqan, survived an assassination on the evening of October 25, 2014.

He managed to flee with his wife after having some injuries and went to the Alhanafie-Alajlany police station to report the incident along with their friend Karim Jimy. Instead of taking action to help Harkan and his wife, the police officers further assaulted them and they were imprisoned charged with blasphemy and “defamation of religion” under article 98 in the Egyptian penal code for asking “What has ISIS done that Muhammad did not do?”

Harqan’s lawyer was humiliated and kicked out of the police station.

Eventually Ahmad and Saly Harqan, and their friend Kareem Jimy were released and charges against them were dropped.

20 responses to “Egypt ‘unfortunately’ has 866 atheists says TV presenter”

  1. CoastalMaineBird says:

    This is a ‘no thinking’ zone. Can’t you see the signs? You are in violation.

  2. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Harqan is a very brave person, to be out as an atheist in such a repressive society. There are probably a lot more atheists in Egypt but because of the attitudes of people like Yassin they are too afraid to be open and honest about their atheism.

  3. Broga says:

    The vicious, violent bigots are the believers. The rational people are the atheists.

    Good to know that atheism is spreading like wildfire.

  4. barriejohn says:

    Is she real? Her silly outburst put me in mind of that other legendary TV presenter, Mrs Merton, who once famously announced: “We’ve got a gay man in Heaton Norris. We’re very cosmopolitan”!

    (A classic clip for those unaware of who she was. Played by Caroline Aherne, who sadly died of cancer last year, aged 52.)

  5. L.Long says:

    I can’t think of any religion worse than the abrahamic religions…all 3 of them!!!

  6. RichardW says:

    866 and counting. I hope it really is spreading like wildfire.

  7. Broga says:

    RichardW: It is. The most recent count finds there are now 867. There will be no stopping atheism now.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    It’s always the same when atheists come upon against religiots – the former try and reason, the latter instantly throw a hissy fit and resort to censorship. Tells you everything you need to know.

  9. Arnold says:

    No room for flipancy here. Mrs Merton was on safe ground but Ahmed Harqan is really taking a terrible risk. There are thousands of shitehawk muslim thugs in Egypt willing to book a fast track ticket to paradise, or more likely take a backhander from some rabid imam, by murdering anyone who insults islam. Its how islam flourishes. It terrorises people into being good muslims on the promise that any infraction will be very harshly punished as will anyone who raises a finger to help. Islam … an abomination.

  10. barriejohn says:

    Arnold: We HAVE to ridicule these people. They’re not going to listen to reason!

  11. Arnold says:

    And how did you ridicule them exactly?

  12. Italian Scallion says:

    I’ll be very happy to one day see that “ALL” religion has been banned from the world, especially the crazy Islam religion.

  13. Italian Scallion says:

    I hold up one finger for Islam, the middle finger. The same goes for the terrorist himself, Muhammad.

  14. 1859 says:

    To be open about being an atheist in such an ignorant and vicious society is like walking around with a target painted on your forehead.
    You have to ask what on earth are such people frightened of? It is the most human thing in the world to ask questions, to raise doubts, to inquire, to wonder, to imagine, to argue, debate, discuss, disagree – what the fuck are these religious idiots frightened of?…..losing the argument, of course…
    Mr. Harqan is a brave guy.

  15. barriejohn says:

    I’ve just heard that it’s 868!

  16. Maggie says:

    Harqan, Harlan, or Harkan?

  17. tonye says:


    ‘what the fuck are these religious idiots frightened of?…..losing the argument, of course’

    I could not have put it better. Cheers.

  18. Laura Roberts says:

    This seems very topical, not to mention encouraging. The link was posted to the website:

  19. Barry Duke says:

    @Maggie: Sorry, Harlan was a typo and has been corrected. It seems that Harkan/Harqan are both acceptable. I stuck with the latter as it was used in the MEMRI report and the Wiki headline.

  20. andym says:

    If she thinks 866 is high, I suspect the true number of atheists in Egypt would cause her to shit herself.Actually that looks like what’s happening in the picture.