From The New Statesman (UK)
Jemima Khan, in an interview with the Bradford MP, reveals the background to his Muslim conversion.
BY ALICE GRIBBIN | PUBLISHED 26 APRIL 2012 11:54
In a wide-ranging interview in this week’s issue of the New Statesman,George Galloway MP talks about his spectacular by-election victory, Ed Miliband’s fortunes, Middle East dictators and mass unemployment. Interviewer Jemima Khan also exclusively reveals the background to Galloway’s conversion to Islam:
George Galloway, MP for Bradford West, is a Muslim. He converted more than ten years ago in a ceremony at a hotel in Kilburn, north-west London, attended by members of the Muslim Association of Great Britain. Those close to him know this. The rest of the world, including his Muslim constituents, does not.
Over a halal, alcohol-free lunch at a cafe on Bradford’s main high street, Khan tells Galloway: “I know someone who attended your shahadah [the Muslim conversion ceremony].”
He stares at me across the table, penetrating blue eyes squinted, pausing for the first time in an hour. His special adviser, a glossy-haired Asian Pakistani called Ayesha, looks into her daal while his new bride, Gayatri Pertiwi – a Dutch-born Muslim of Indonesian descent 30 years his junior, seated beside him throughout the interview – smiles at me.