Thursday, 28 October 2010

Lauren Booth: the next shia revelutionary???

If you watched my hero, Andrew Kneel doing his stuff on ‘this week earlier on, you would have seen Lauren Booth discussing her reversion to Islam, in relation to the treatment and suppression of Muslim women in the west. I had heard she had reverted, but as I lay dozing half-way between sleep and wakefulness, my ears pricked up to hear her say her embracing Islam was the result of a life-changing experience in the shrine of Bibi Fatimeh Masoumeh (A.S), in Iran! Was she shia? Could she be? Further internet research suggests the potential is there, though her appearance on this week showed her silhouetted against a well-known London Wahabi book store. It is doubtless too early for her to start brandishing Muslim labels, and rightly so! but we can only hope that the depth of her spiritual experience in Iran prompts her to search for its unique origins rather than being indoctrinated by the Saudi massive!
Lauren Booth is flawed: an unlikely recruit to Islam in any form: brash, outspoken, loud, opinionated, and with something of a reputation (I know what my friends are saying right now!). Naturally the UK press have kept quiet about her reversion, and responses thus far remain rather tongue-in-cheek! But to me, doesn’t the above actually make her the perfect candidate to the path of Ahlulbayt (A.S), if she is able to make the link between her hardliner activism and compelling journalism, and how these will work together with the shia legacy of justice, given to us by Imam Hussain (A.S), if she makes this link, between the sacrifice of Karbala, and the responsibilities she can embody through her work, then she’ll definitely be a sister to be proud of! After all, how many “spiritual” Muslims do you know, so mystical are they, that their heavenly nature makes them of little earthly use! If we had only a few modern-day Saeeda Zeynab (A.S) type figures in our midst, then I can say with certainty that our only limits would be our imagination and aspirations!
There is allot of potential here, my being only shivers when I imagine the good her sister could do on the path: definitely one to watch, and a sister to keep in your prayers!,0

Blair’s sister-in-law embraces Islam

LONDON: 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
“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)
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
“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.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Ouch, ouch and ..... OUCH!

I know I’ve neglected the blog of late, and I know how much I hate others who do this; but its all with good reason! I’ve got tendonitis: …, really bad-ass tendonitis! The type that renders you useless in every way!!
For those not in the know, tendonitis is a sort-of RSI, the tendons in the fingers, hands, arms etc become inflamed, scarred and swollen, causing excruciating pain, and making any repetitive or intensive hand-movements virtually impossible (no dodgy comments here please!). Oh! And for those who have been following my never-ending health saga, this is the “arthritis”, I was told I had months ago, and don’t: had they diagnosed it correctly, I may not be in this state now, but so it goes!

Any way, this wouldn’t be a big deal under normal circumstances, but of course it is for me: I can’t write, can’t blog, can’t apply for jobs, can’t even clean my house! And all this at a time when we need to get Reza’s visa sorted, when I need to be back at work, when I need to be progressing my book etc. Its painful and scary: if my hands are out of action, what will I realistically do with this existence of mine, it terrifies me, but its best not to look too far ahead. Tendonitis can be cured with medication, injections and surgery, but each of these outcomes are dependent on significant changes in lifestyle, not all of which I can make for obvious reasons! So I just don’t know. As I can only type for around 15 minutes a day (I shouldn’t even be doing that!), you won’t hear much from me for a while, but you are all in my thoughts, and I pray you’ll not forget this little island of mine and check back once in an eternity when the sun shines again. Remember us in your thoughts and prayers, I do know that light follows the dark night, but Allah knows I’m so tired waiting for it! and just maybe your duas will bring it on!
Love to all.