LONDON: Former British prime minister Tony Blair's sister-in-law
Booth revealed over the weekend that she has converted to Islam.
Booth, who is half-sister to
Blair and a Catholic by birth, switched faith after a recent visit
to Iran. A human rights campaigner and journalist, she works for Press
TV, Iran's 24-hour English language international news channel.
News of Booth's conversion surfaced after she was showcased at a rally
here under the banner of Global Peace and Unity 2010, attended by
several Islamic hardliners. It was a propaganda coup for those who
militantly propagate Islam.
Booth (43), who has once figured in a reality television contest, told
a section of British media, ``I had a delightful experience at a
Muslim shrine in
weeks ago. I now pray five times a day and occasionally go to a
mosque. And I haven't had an alcoholic drink for 45 days.''
Booth now covers her head and neck with hijab when outside her home
(and doesn't rule out wearing a burqa in future), no longer eats pork
and reads the Quran every day. She conceded that her decision to
convert might create a controversy. ``Every action sparks a
reaction,'' she said.
Cherie Blair, a practising Catholic, and her husband Tony, who
converted from the
Church of England to Roman Catholicism in 2007, were unavailable
Last month, Booth accused Blair of lacking impartiality in his current
Middle East envoy. Having earlier protested against Britain's
involvement in the 2003 United Stated-led invasion of
said her brother-in-law could not be a balanced negotiator between
Palestinians and Israelis because he was prejudiced against Muslims.
In a letter published in the Morning Star, a communist daily, she
described participating in a rally in Iran where mothers reportedly
wept over deaths in Palestinian cities like Rafah and Nablus. "Do you
recognise these place names, Tony?'' she asked. ``
has massacred children in all these cities in recent years,'' she