Friday, 16 September 2016

British Ambassador embraces Islam, performs Hajj

Among the 19,000 British pilgrims performing Haj this year was British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Simon Paul Collis and his wife Huda Mujarkech. It was known by some diplomats and journalists that he had embraced Islam but there had been no official word.

The confirmation came on Tuesday in the form of a tweet from Saudi writer and academic Fawziah Al-Bakr (@fawziah1).

She posted two photos of Ambassador Collis and his wife in which he was wearing ihram, the two pieces of unstitched cloth that male pilgrims wear for performing the pilgrimage.
The ambassador replied to the post by thanking Al-Bakr via his official Twitter handle (@HMASimonCollis).

The ambassador’s wife (@HudaMCollis) retweeted Al-Bakr’s post.

Though Collis refused media requests for interviews on Wednesday, he said: “I have converted to Islam after being in Muslim societies for 30 years, and right before getting married to Huda.”
Collis has served as British ambassador to Saudi Arabia since January last year when Sir John Jenkins retired from the diplomatic service.

The photos went viral on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, sending social media into overdrive.