Can an upright person live without Islam? 
Had the religion been a form of absurdity, hardship, humiliation, or racial oppression, I would have preferred to live without religion. However, religion has nothing to do with this. Atheists have confused the divine truth with manmade falsities. Presenting falsehood as a religion is a downright lie, but renouncing it is an obligation. Now, people are strikingly different. Some deny divinity and imagine the world without Allah. Some vaguely acknowledge divinity and think that the major religions are equal in approach and value. Still are there some who embrace Judaism or Christianity. Others are pagans. Finally, there are Muslims who have firm belief in Allah to be their Lord, Islam to be their religion, and Muḩammad to be their Prophet and Messenger.
However, some Muslims behave like barbarians. They live according to what they inherit whether that was the traditions of the Prophet or heresies, knowledge or ignorance, guidance or whims, without distinction. However, some Muslims call to the truth of the early ancestors. People sometimes feel this truth to be outdated or even odd. The problem of Muslim preachers is the vivid image of Islam in the Muslim world, which causes some non-Muslims in other countries to denounce Islam. Imagine the case of a man living in a free country in which he is able to oppose the government freely without fear and similarly can object to the wrong acts of the head of the state without concern, as Muslims did with Abu Bakr and Omar. However, do you think that the same man will embrace Islam if he was told that in case he objects to the ruler, he will be imprisoned or put to death? What will move him to a religion with a destructive ruler who has destroyed a city, killed thirty thousands of its people, buried them under ruins, and continued his reign prestigiously without being questioned by the scared mass media?!
Surely, this man will not believe in this religion and will prefer to remain away from such tribulation. Who would be responsible for such ordeal? Undoubtedly, it is the tyrant politicians who, in the first place, are not good Muslims; they dissuade people from the true religion through oppression. Some pedantic religious teachers present Islam as shackles for women, looking down upon them as ignorant, benighted, awkward, and stripped of rights, denying them even the right even to their own cars! It is no wonder then that women worldwide would be scared to embrace such a religion; that is a feeling also shared by many men worldwide.
One grieves for such misleading thought that dissuade people from Islam. They are like the Bedouin who sold his camel with one dirham but its lodges, he stipulated, shall be sold for ten thousands; he thus dissuaded people from the sale. In other words, some people are ready to accept Islam, but imposters stymie them from it. Can an atheist, who disbelieves in the Hereafter, Allah's meeting and revelation, be a wise and sound person? Certainly, such a person has no insight. His denial of Allah is worse than being ungrateful to his adoring parents. This atheist may be a scientist, well-learned, and talented, but his meanness remains the same. An American atom scientist was sentenced to death in the United States for treason when he disclosed some secrets to the Russians. Is not he who betrays the Lord of heavens, earth and humankind more criminal than this?!
The fact that you are talented in certain areas does not preclude the possibility of fatal errors. A person may be sharp-sighted but also affected by a fatal cancer. A person who refuses to know about Allah and adhere to His religion has dreadful major flaws in conscience and mind. He also poses a threat to those close to him. He has no wise mind to think and is almost a slave of his evil desires. His evils form a misfortune to his soul and to those near to him. Finally, he may suffer eternal punishment in this world and his intelligence may lead him to his own destruction. Allah denounces those worshipping their evil vain desires and rejecting Allah's guidance, saying, “Think [Prophet] of the man who has taken his own passion as a Allah; are you to be his guardian? Do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are just like cattle. No, they are further away (from the right) path).” (Qur’ān, 25:43-44) Throughout the Arab world, I have seen secularists who are violently rejecting Islam altogether in many fields of education, law, culture, or guidance. I contemplated them, but saw no mental health or sound thoughts. Some are unfortunately “Muslims”, who denounce Allah's commandments; others are of the People of the Scripture who, although pretending to be neutral, join fronts combating Islam to make their great Muslims enemies and maximize hatred against Islam. It is impossible to describe them as ardent nationalists. If they were so, they would know that the people of Israel are equipped with religious doctrines to justify their usurpation of land and violation of human dignity. How can offensive people be respected or their transgressive domination be accepted in religion? Meanwhile, they degrade the religion of the oppressed people and stigmatize it as reactionary. They refuse to allow it to affect education or feed politics. It may be because the former’s is Judaism and the latter’s is Islam!
Religion has no place in politics when it is the religion of Islam, but when it comes to Zionism, new states rise from delusion and its politics is seen as wisdom and advancement. It is illogic to reject the prophecy of Muḩammad and harbor hatred or prejudice against that great man! We may mock at a man claiming the earth is square or triangular, or that Moses was born in the United States. How should we accept one who sees Buddha as Allah and Muḩammad as a bandit?! How should we still tolerate one who regards Islam as a religion of idolatry and violence, not one of monotheism and morality? Certainly, a person adopting such views would be an idiot or even ignorant, who can never be taken seriously as sane and prudent. Ignorance may avail moral liability when law is breached, but it can never be regarded as virtue.
There are the Jews who believe that Allah fought their father Israel and was almost defeated before him. There are also Christians who believe that a child is born bearing the curse and sin committed by Adam. They claim that unless one believes that Jesus is crucified for his redemption, he will suffer an eternal curse. Therefore, viewing such vile beliefs, which are not reasonable, one should not denounce Prophet Muḩammad who came to purify heavenly messages from such doctrines. Allah's book (i.e. the Qur’ān) rebukes those falsely denying revelation, “Has he not been informed of what is in the scriptures of Moses? And (of) Abraham who fulfilled (the commandments)? That no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another? And that man shall have nothing but what he strives for? And that his striving shall soon be seen? Then shall he be rewarded for it with the fullest reward?”(Qur’ān, 53:36-41).
As seen, those verses are communicated in an imposingly throbbing interrogative tone that sounds a note of caution to draw attention. They are like guiding sporadic flashes that alert a person walking in different similar paths and direct him to the right path and goal. No one can do without Islam, for ignoring Islam would be a major flaw. How can a person denying Allah's guidance, admonition, and warnings be a righteous one?! His heart would never pass a moment of enough humbleness to say, “My Lord, forgive my sin on the Day of Judgment!”
 Muḩammad El-Ghazāli, “A Hundred Questions on Islam”, Al-Azhar Center for Translation (ACT), 2017, p. 8.