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British ambassador to Saudi Arabia completes Hajj pilgrimage after converting to Islam

first_imgMr Collis took up the post in Riyadh in early 2015 after a long career across the Middle East. He was the ambassador to Syria from 2007 until 2012 and angered the Assad regime after he criticised the government’s crackdown on peaceful protesters.He left Damascus in February 2012 when the British government suspended diplomatic ties with Syria.Mr Collis also served as ambassador to Iraq from 2012 until 2014 and before was the UK enjoy to Doha. He is a graduate of Christ’s College, Cambridge and has five children.  أول سفير بريطاني للمملكة يؤدي فريضة الحج بعد اسلامه:سيمون كوليز مع زوجته السيدة هدي في مكة. الحمدلله pic.twitter.com/Gk3323d3ce— فوزية البكر (@fawziah1) September 12, 2016 Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia has been inundated with congratulations from across the Islamic world after it emerged that he converted to Islam and carried out the first Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca ever performed by a senior UK diplomat. The conversion of Simon Collis, the UK envoy to Riyadh, became public after pictures posted on Twitter showed him and his wife Huda wearing the traditional white garments of Muslim pilgrims in front of the British consulate in Mecca. The 60-year-old diplomat, who speaks fluent Arabic, confirmed the news in response to messages on Twitter.“God bless you. In brief: I converted to Islam after 30 years of living in Muslim societies and before marrying Huda,” he wrote. @HMASimonCollis @fawziah1 Masha’AllahNow you are like a newborn with no sins. May Allah bless you & accept youRemember us in your prayers— Gihan (@Gihanovich) September 14, 2016 The pictures of him and his wife were first posted by Fawziah Al-Bakr, a Saudi women’s rights activist. “The first British ambassador in Saudi Arabia is performing the Hajj with his wife Mrs Huda after he converted to Islam. Thanks be to God,” she wrote.He is believed to be the first British ambassador to carry out the Hajj pilgrimage although other ambassadors are thought to have converted to Islam in the past.  The news led to a wave of online congratulations from Saudi Arabia and across the Islamic world, with many Muslims saluting Mr Collis as “Haji Simon” using the title reserved for those who make the pilgrimage to Mecca.Mr Collis converted in 2011 shortly before marrying his wife, who is Syrian. While his conversion was known to some fellow diplomats it was not public knowledge in Riyadh.The Foreign Office declined to comment, saying Mr Collis’s religion was a personal matter. While Mr Collis acknowledged many of the congratulatory messages coming in on Twitter, he declined interviews about his faith.  Mr and Mrs Collis were among 1.8 million Muslim pilgrims from across the world to make the Hajj this year, according to the Saudi government. Islamic scripture calls for all able-bodied Muslims to make the journey to Mecca at least once in their lives. Mecca, the Saudi city where the Prophet Mohammed is said to have received the first revelations of the Koran, is the holiest site for Muslims and believers pray towards it every day. British ambassador to Saudi Arabia embraces Islam.. MASHA ALLAH Congrats Sir @HMASimonCollis & Family !!! https://t.co/JEv4HPTqgZ— Muhammad Aamir Raza (@BeingHuman_Aami) September 15, 2016 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Gunmen invade home of elderly couple for the second time

The Police are on the hunt for five gunmen, who in the wee hours of Friday morning, invaded the home of the parents of television personality, Neaz Subhan.The invasion occurred just after 02:00h while 73-year-old Mohammed Subhan and his 84-year-old disabled wife, Khairool Subhan were asleep in their “A” Craig, East Bank Demerara (EBD) home.Inews understand that while asleep in the two-storey concrete building, Mohammed Subhan was awakened by one of the armed perpetrators who demanded cash and valuables.However, after the duo failed to complied, the men proceeded to ransack the said room but were only able to escape with a 32” flat screen television valued $70,000.The stand from where the TV was removedWhen contacted, Neaz Subhan detailed what transpired. He explained that his father was awakened and a gun was placed to his head by one of the perpretartors who commanded him not to scream.Subhan told this online publication that his father proceeded to beg for his life, pleading with the gunman not to hurt him.However, the men, two of whom were actually seen to be armed, proceeded to ransack the room and it was then that they removed the television and a cell phone.Subhan disclosed that while the men were still in the house, he received a call from his father who told him what was occurring.“I quickly placed a call to 911 but was placed on hold and later given a number to contact the Grove Police Station” Subhan revealed in dismay.He further reported that when the said number given to him by the 911 operator was called; it was not that of the Grove Police Station but rather belonged to the Providence Police Station.“When I finally received a number and contacted Grove, I was told that they cannot provide assistance as only two Officers were at the time available” Subhan said.As such, the Brickdam Police Station had to be called and it was only then that assistance was provided.According to Subhan, he was told by the ranks that responded that four other persons in streets within the said village were also robbed prior to and following the robbery of his parents.This is the second robbery carried out on the elderly couple, the first of which occurred in July of 2017.In that incident, the house was invaded at around 04:00h. It was reported that Mohammed was again awakened by noises emanating from outside the said bedroom.Upon inspections, Subhan saw a crowbar which was stuck by his bedroom door, as a robber made efforts to pull out the bolts to gain entry into their room.Subhan immediately called for assistance from his son who resides in Diamond, East Bank Demerara.The younger Subhan quickly contacted police and when he arrived at his parents’ home, the law enforcement officials were already combing the area.Upon inspection, the lower flat of the couple’s house was completely ransacked and a bag reportedly belonging to the robber was found in the yard with several carpentry tools.However in that incident, no one was ever apprehended.The Police are currently investigating this current attack and reportedly have a number of suspects. (Kizzy Coleman) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBandits break into home of elderly couple, parents of Neaz SubhanJuly 21, 2017In “Crime”Lusignan Massacre victims remembered; AG warns families of those who politicise the crimeJanuary 27, 2015In “Politics”Gov’t Spokesman urges state media top brass to ‘follow Neaz Subhan’June 5, 2015In “Politics” read more

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