|Tony Blair says he reads the Islamic religion's holy book - |
considered by Muslims to be the exact words of God
He was notoriously reluctant to discuss religion while Prime Minister, with his chief spin doctor Alastair Campbell famously commenting: ‘We don’t do God.’
But since leaving Downing Street in 2007, Tony Blair has become increasingly open about the importance of religion.
Mr Blair, who converted to Catholicism months after leaving Number 10, has now spoken of how he reads the Koran every day.
Reading the Islamic religion’s holy book - considered by Muslims to be the exact words of God - ensured he remained ‘faith-literate’, the former Labour leader said.
In an interview with the Observer magazine, published yesterday he said: ‘To be faith-literate is crucial in a globalized world, I believe.
Mr Blair has previously praised the Muslim faith as ‘beautiful’ and said the Prophet Mohammed had been ‘an enormously civilizing force’.
He was Prime Minister when the July 7 suicide bombers attacked London in 2005, murdering 52 innocent people.
Not only does reading the Koran support his peace envoy role, it also gives him something in common with sister-in-law Lauren Booth.
Journalist Miss Booth - Cherie Blair’s half sister - raised eyebrows after announcing last October that she had converted to Islam after what she described as a ‘holy experience’ during a visit to a shrine in Iran.
In 2006 he said the Koran was a ‘reforming book, it is inclusive. It extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition. It is practical and way ahead of its time in attitudes to marriage, women and governance’.‘I read the Qur’an [Koran] every day. Partly to understand some of the things happening in the world, but mainly just because it is immensely instructive.’