Having lived in the UAE, I’ve noticed that most, if not all, locals didn’t seem very religious. Sure, they derived some identity from their religious traditions, but they lived an impious life, they didn’t pray, they didn’t go to the mosque, they had alcohol and pork, and they sneakily violated the Ramadan fasting. Of course, when you live an abundant life, you don’t really need a fairy tale god to comfort you. That’s why the more developed a region is the less people buy religious dogma.
But I did see some fear. They were afraid to admit that their religion, like all religions, was bullshit. And the norm there was that if you’re an atheist you should keep it to yourself.
What if all of them are atheists pretending to be religionists, thinking that they’re are the only one?