Makkah—British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Simon Paul Collis performed Haj this year after converting to Islam, , media reports said.
Simon Collis was among the 19,000 British pilgrims performing the ritual this year. Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist Fawziah al-Bakr posted pictures of him with his wife Huda Mujarkech, both dressed in Ihram.
The ambassador tweeted in reply to the post thanking Al-Bakr via his Twitter handle. The ambassador’s wife retweeted Al-Bakr’s post.
“I have converted to Islam after being in Muslim societies for 30 years, and right before getting married to Huda,” Arab News quoted him as saying.
British newspaper The Sun also carried the story about ambassador’s conversion to Islam, citing Arab media reports.
Collis, a father of five children, has been British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia since January last year, when Sir John Jenkins retired from the diplomatic service. He is fluent in Arabic. He joined the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1978 and has served mainly in Arab countries.
He was first posted to Bahrain as second secretary (1981-1984). He also served as British Ambassador to Iraq (2012-2014), Syria (2007-2012) and Qatar (2005-2007). He was the British Consul-General in Dubai (2000-2004) and in Basra (2004-2005). He also served in New Delhi as first secretary from 1991 to 1994.