A Few Questions For Simon Collis, a high profile Western convert to Islam

A Few Questions For Simon Collis, a high profile Western convert to Islam, by Hugh Fitzgerald.

The Saudis, and many other Muslims, are ecstatic. Simon Collis, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has just revealed to the world that he has converted to Islam (he did this a few years ago, but it was kept quiet until now). …

What makes Muslims so ecstatic is that despite the outward show of believing that they, the Muslims, are “the best of peoples” (Qur’an 3:110), they are also aware of the fact that non-Muslims are none too impressed with Islam. A Western convert, one who comes from the highest levels of Infidel society, helps to validate Islam in Muslim eyes. …

Add his name to the list of such celebrated Western converts as Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall (translator of the Qur’an), Muhammad Asad (née Leopold Weiss, a journalist, writer, and scholar of Islam), and St. John Philby (…father of Soviet spy Kim Philby). The reason these converts’ names are known to so many Muslims is because there are so few of them. Now they can add Simon Collis to their shortlist.

Ambassador Simon Collis, British Ambassador to Iraq, 2013

The questions:

What was it Simon Collis saw in Islam that he found so attractive? During 30 years he lived in many Muslim countries, as part of the British embassy staff. He was ambassador to both Syria (2007-2012) and Iraq (2012-2014). What could he possibly have found winning about the Assad family’s murderous regime? … What did Collis make of the massacres of the Christians by Muslims in both Syria and Iraq? …

When he arrived in Saudi Arabia on February 3, 2015, what was it that so impressed Simon Collis with that society? Was it the school textbooks that teach hatred of Christians and Jews? … Was it the 147 public executions in 2015, a new record for the Saudis? … What does Simon Collis think of religious freedom in Muslim countries? Perhaps, now that he’s a Muslim, and possessor of the One True Faith, he really doesn’t care.

The pot of money.

For celebrity converts, there are financial incentives to become a Muslim, especially in Saudi Arabia. Even a humble Western nurse who worked in Saudi Arabia told me of how her patients had offered her $30,000 if she would convert to Islam (she turned them down). If a nurse is worth that, what would someone at the ambassadorial level be worth? An ambassador from Great Britain?

Simon Collis surely was impressed – who is not? – with the fantastic riches of the Saudis, and just as surely knew that once he retired from the Foreign Service, as a celebrity convert he would be assured a well-paid sinecure at some Saudi research center or foundation or university. Wouldn’t that be an inducement to say the Shehada, become a Muslim, and walk widdershins seven times round the Ka’aba which houses the magic wonderstone, as he did, swathed in white, just this week?

hat-tip Stephen Neil