Former British prime minister Tony Blair’s sister-in-law has embraced Islam after visiting the holy shrine of Fatima al-Masoumeh (AS) in Iran’s holy city of Qom.
“It was a Tuesday evening and I sat down and felt this shot of spiritual morphine, just absolute bliss and joy,” Broadcaster and journalist Lauren Booth told The Mail.
The 43-year-old half-sister of Cherie Blair now wears Hijab whenever she leaves her home, prays five times a day and visits her local mosque.
“Now I don’t eat pork and I read the Holy Qur’an every day. I’m on page 60. I also haven’t had a drink in 45 days, the longest period in 25 years,” she added.
“The strange thing is that since I decided to convert I haven’t wanted to touch alcohol, and I was someone who craved a glass of wine or two at the end of a day.”
Booth, who works for Iran’s English-language Press TV news network, decided to embrace Islam six weeks ago and converted immediately after she returned to Britain.
Booth did not refuse the possibility of wearing a Burqa and said, ‘Who knows where my spiritual journey will take me?’
Before her holy experience in Iran, Booth had spent considerable time working in Palestine and was “always impressed with the strength and comfort it (Islam) gave.”
She travelled to Gaza in August 2008 along with 46 other activists to highlight Israel’s blockade of the territory and was subsequently refused entry into both Israel and Egypt.
In a public letter she wrote to Tony Blair during her visit to Iran last month, Booth expressed hope that the former Labor Party politician would change his presumptions about Islam.
“Your world view is that Muslims are mad, bad, dangerous to know,” she wrote in her letter, asking Blair to acknowledge the International Quds Day, an annual event on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramazan when Muslims express solidarity with the Palestinian people and protest Israel’s occupation of Al-Quds (Jerusalem).
“Here in Iran they feel proud to suffer in order to express solidarity with the people of Palestine,” she said. “It’s kind of like the way you express solidarity with America only without illegal chemical weapons and a million civilian deaths.”
Booth, who had moved to France with her husband and two daughters in 2004, returned to Britain after her husband suffered a sever brain injury following a motorcycle accident in April 2009.