Latest posts by Rahila Aziz (see all)
- Interview with Yvonne Ridley – Journalist and author who embraced Islam in July 2003 - September 30, 2019
A famous British journalist went on a press investigation to reveal the truth about Muslims and found out that Islam is the greatest gift from God.
Were you a believer in God before you embraced Islam?
As long as I can remember, I always believed in God. I was a practicing Christian and I went to church twice a month which, in secular Britain, borders on fanaticism.
Tell us about your career in press – in the past and now.
Because my story made headlines around the world, I had to reinvent myself as a journalist. I had been an investigative undercover reporter, who focused more on humanitarian stories. It was difficult for a journalist wearing a Hijab to get a job on mainstream media, so I decided to form my own television production company and we made films. We went into Guantanamo Bay and we won an award for that. I worked for several Middle East magazines and online publications. I am also pursuing a PhD degree.
When I went into Afghanistan, I was the chief reporter of The Sunday Express. I sneaked into the country wearing the all-enveloping blue Burqa. I was on a donkey and it had bolted, so I fell off, which created quite a distraction in a crowded area. During my struggle to control the animal, the only piece of equipment that I had taken into Afghanistan, a camera, fell out of the folds of my Burqa right into the passing view of a Taliban soldier. He saw this and I was held for ten days first in Jalalabad and then in Kabul. It was a terrifying experience, but it also gave me an insight into Islam. I realized that as a journalist I couldn’t write with any authority about the affairs in the Middle East, Asia or anywhere in the Muslim world without knowing more about Islam. During those ten days I never thought I would get out alive. One day, an Imam came to visit me and he invited me to embrace Islam. I told him I could not make such a life changing decision, while I was in prison, but if he would let me go, I would read about Islam and study the Quran. I would have promised anything just to get out of this prison. He smiled, got up and left, and I was told that I was going home.
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