In White Teeth, we've got believers and non-believers all in the same place at the same time. Basically, like everything else in this novel, religion is complicated but it is never dull. Not for a second. Characters like Clara, who are raised on religion, leave it behind entirely (well, almost entirely). Then there are characters like Ryan Topps and Millat Iqbal who pick up religion on their own, and become extremely committed to it. (That might be an understatement.) For some characters, like Samad, religion is linked to tradition. For him, religion says more about who he is as a man than about what he believes or how he behaves. Then there are the atheists who have found something else, like science, to believe in. Never thought that science might actually have a lot in common with religion? Well, maybe you should.
Religious belief and science get into a serious duel in White Teeth, and there is not a clear winner.
Magid and Millat, the atheist and the fundamentalist, provide a unique opportunity to look at two extremes. When it comes to Magid's atheism and Millat's brand of Islam, both characters seem one-dimensional.