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Thursday, 11 August 2011

Inspirational Muslims of today- Lauren Booth

I've been thinking of doing a series on inspirational Muslims of today but never got round to it, today  I watched a very inspirational video of Sister Lauren Booth's story of conversion, more commonly known as Tony Blair's sister in law, and I just had to start it, so yes here I am insomniac at 5am writing this first post of inspirational Muslims of today.

Lauren Booth

Lauren Booth is a half-sister of Cherie Blair and the sixth daughter of the actor Tony Booth with Pamela Smith (Cohen). She is the sister-in-law of former British prime minister Tony Blair. She was married to actor Craig Darby and the couple have two children, Alexandra and Holly. Her mother, Pamela Smith (Cohen) was Jewish although Lauren wasn’t brought up a practising Jew.

Journalistic career

As a journalist, Booth has written for the New Statesman, the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail. She is a vocal opponent of the Iraq War and a supporter of the Stop the War Coalition; a member of Woodcraft Folk, Media Workers Against the War and the National Union of Journalists. She has been a panellist on the BBC's Have I Got News For You, and a broadcaster on radio and television. She writes columns and features, mainly for the Mail on Sunday. She regularly reviews the UK newspapers on television for Sky News, BBC One and BBC News 24.

In both 2005 and 2006 Booth travelled to the West Bank where she has interviewed Mahmoud Abbas. She gave two speeches on the condition of those living in the West Bank and Gaza, for the Royal Geographical Society and Arab Media Watch.

As of 2010, Booth presents In Focus on the UK's Islam Channel, and Between The Headlines on the Iranian-owned Press TV.
In June 2011, Booth joined Cageprisoners as a patron.

Reality TV

In 2006 she was a contestant on the ITV reality show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, donating the money she raised to charity Interpal (Palestinian Relief and Development Fund).

Gaza activism

In August 2008 she travelled to Gaza by ship from Cyprus, along with 46 other activists, to highlight the blockade of the Gaza Strip and deliver hearing aids and balloons to a deaf school in Gaza. Booth elected to remain behind in Gaza, and was subsequently refused entry into both Israel and Egypt. She said that she believed that, by refusing her the right to leave Gaza and return to her home country, Israel was in breach of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, specifically regarding freedom of movement. Booth stated that she believes the "situation in Gaza is a humanitarian crisis on the scale of Darfur" and called Gaza "the largest concentration camp in the world today"  During her visit, Booth received a Palestinian VIP passport from Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya Booth left Gaza through the Rafah Border Crossing into Egypt on 20 September 2008.

Religious conversion

Booth appeared at the Islam Channel's Global Peace and Unity event on October 23, 2010, dressed in loose clothing and with a hijab, declaring: "My name is Lauren Booth, and I am a Muslim".

This is the video that really made me think her story is very inspirational. By watching you will also see that contrary to what the media tried to make her sound like (a blond attention seeking uneducated woman) this video shows what a lovely person she is mashaAllah.

So are there any inspirational Muslim women you can think of today? If you have any suggestions for more inspirational Muslims (big or small) please leave them in the comment box below or alternatively e-mail ihijabi@gmail.com

Next post will be about Sister Sarah Joseph another very inspirational speaker and CEO of emel magazine who also gave a very motivational speech at the artistic jihad exhibition. So stay tuned for that inshaAllah!


  1. Great idea! I can't think of any now, but there are many Muslim journalists who might be considered inspirational. I'm also looking for inspirational Muslimahs beause I'd like to have a high tea for ladies and have a screening with inspirational videos!


  2. Here is a great resource for inspirational Muslim women: