London: First former UK prime minister Tony Blair became a Roman Catholic after leaving office in 2007, and now his sister-in-law has converted to Islam.
Lauren Booth, Cherie Blair’s half sister, decided to adopt her new faith after what she described as a holy experience in Iran. She now covers her head with a hijab when she leaves home, has given up alcohol and visits a mosque “when she can”.
“I sat down and felt this shot of spiritual morphine, just absolute bliss and joy,” The Daily Mail quoted Booth as saying.
“I always felt that the ummah [Muslim community] is a very loving, peaceful place and I am proud to be a member of it,” she said.
Booth has given up pork; she reads the Quran every day and has not ruled out wearing a burka in the future.
“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 said.
She announced her conversion at the Global Peace and Unity Event in London on Saturday. To cheers, she said, “What I wanted to share with you today is that I am Lauren Booth and I am a Muslim.”
Booth’s conversion follows a turbulent time in her personal life, during which her marriage to actor Craig Darby hit the rocks. She described publicly how she had fallen on hard times and was being forced to return to Britain after six years in rural France with her family.
Her conversion was welcomed on Muslim Internet forums. One post read, “Now a war criminal has an innocent sister in law! God bless her!”