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List of converts to nontheism



This list of converts to nontheism includes individuals who formerly identified with a religious affiliation but have since then openly rejected their belief in a god (or gods) or professed to agnosticism. The list is organised by former religious affiliation.

Former Christians

Former Buddhists

Former Hindus

  • Kamal Haasan – despite being born into a Hindu Brahmin family, declared himself an atheist
  • Goparaju Ramachandra Rao – Indian activist for atheism; wrote in We Become Atheists, "I was conventionally orthodox and superstitious in the days of my boyhood. I believed in the claims of divine revelations by my parental aunt."
  • Ram Gopal Varma – born into a Hindu family; claimed himself atheist
  • Vinayak Damodar Savarkar – president of Hindu Mahasabha; founder of the Hindutva movement; atheist; did not define "Hindutva" by religion, and used to publicly advertise lectures on atheism and the non-existence of God
  • Shreela Flather, Baroness Flather of Windsor and Maidenhead – first Hindu woman in British politics; described herself as a "Hindu atheist"
  • Rajeev KhandelwalIndian film and television actor; states himself an atheist

    Former Muslims



    [[Image:Salman Rushdie.jpg|150px|thumb|upright|Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses
  • Zackie AchmatSouth African anti-HIV/AIDS activist; founder of the Treatment Action Campaign
  • Ismail AdhamEgyptian writer and philosopher
  • Mina AhadiIranian-born pacifist, founder of the German organization Central Council of Ex-Muslims
  • Javed AkhtarIndian writer, lyricist, TV show host, secular and nationalist activist
  • Mirza Fatali Akhundov – 19th-century Azerbaijani playwright and philosopher
  • Ayaan Hirsi AliSomali-born Dutch feminist, writer, and politician
  • Bisi AlimiNigerian gay rights activist based in the United Kingdom
  • Ramiz AliaAlbanian communist leader and former president of Albania
  • Kareem Amer – Egyptian blogger
  • Waleed Al-HusseiniQalqilyan blogger, writer, secular humanist, and founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims of France
  • Mustafa Kemal AtatürkTurkish field marshal, statesman, secularist reformer, and author; a deist or an atheist
  • Humayun Azad – Bangladeshi author, poet, scholar and linguist
  • Hassan BaharaMoroccan-Dutch writer
  • Pelin Batu – Turkish actress and television personality
  • Hafid Bouazza – Moroccan-Dutch writer
  • Parvin Darabi – Iranian-born American writer and women's rights activist
  • Turan DursunTurkish writer; was once a Turkish mufti; later authored many books critical of Islam
  • Afshin Ellian – Iranian professor
  • Enver Hoxha – Communist dictator who declared Albania the first atheist state
  • Ismail Kadare – World-renowned Albanian writer
  • Sarmad Kashani – 17th-century mystical poet and sufi saint; arrived from Persia to India; beheaded for assumed heresy by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb; renounced Judaism, briefly converting to Islam and then Hinduism; later denounced all religions and rejected belief in God
  • Raheem Kassam – British conservative activist
  • Al-Ma'arri – blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer
  • Lounès MatoubAlgerian Berber Kabyle singer and activist
  • Asif Mohiuddin – Bangladeshi blogger and secularist
  • Seema Mustafa – Indian journalist, Political Editor and Delhi Bureau Chief of The Asian Age newspaper
  • Maryam Namazie – Iranian communist, political activist and leader of the British apostate-organization Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
  • Kumail NanjianiPakistani American stand-up comic and actor
  • Taslima Nasrin – Bangladeshi author, feminist, human rights activist and secular humanist
  • Armin Navabi – Iranian-born atheist and secular activist, author, podcaster and vlogger, known as founder of the popular website Atheist Republic.
  • Aziz Nesin – Popular Turkish humorist and author of more than 100 books
  • Barack Obama Sr.Kenyan senior governmental economist, and the father of Barack Obama
  • Ibn al-Rawandi – 9th-century early skeptic of Shia Islam, of Persian origin
  • Salman Rushdie – British-Indian novelist and essayist
  • Nyamko Sabuni – Politician in Sweden
  • Zohra Sehgal – Indian actress who has appeared in several Hindi and English language films
  • Anwar Shaikh – British author of Pakistani descent
  • Dr. Younus Shaikh – Pakistani medical doctor, human rights activist, rationalist and free-thinker
  • Ali SoilihComorian socialist revolutionary; president of the Comoros
  • Wafa SultanSyrian-born American psychiatrist; controversial critic of Islam; describes herself as a "secular humanist"
  • Arzu TokerTurkish-born German writer, journalist, publicist and translator; founder of the German organization Central Council of Ex-Muslims
  • Cenk Uygur – Turkish-American co-founder and main host of the progressive talk radio show The Young Turks; agnostic
  • Ibn WarraqBritish Pakistani secularist author; founder of the Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society

    Former Jews