Saturday, 20 August 2011
It was reported recently that Tony Blair read the Koran every day. Since his current role is that of a supposed Middle East Peace Envoy, that might have been considered a reasonable way for him to get acquainted with the Muslim mindset. But the fact is that Tony Blair was reading the Koran long ago, not only before he became a Middle East peace envoy but even before the events of September 11th put Islam in the public spotlight.

I was reading Andrew Rawnsley's book, The End of the Affair, about the Blair/Brown Labour government. In it, Rawnsley reports that Blair took a Koran to read on his holidays in the summer of 2011. This paragraph describes Blair on a plane to the USA just after September 11th.
As the Boeing 747 crossed the Atlantic, Tony Blair was sitting in his favoured seat, right up at the front in A1 in first class. A copy of the Koran lay on the table in front of him. He had been interested in the Muslim holy book before 9/11, taking it with him on his August holiday in the Lake District and the south of France that year. When he revealed his summer reading to Alastair Campbell and Philip Gould, his intimates thought this an illustration of his eccentricities, remarking to each other: 'How very Tony that is ... only Tony would read the Koran on holiday.' Now it seemed 'eerily prescient'.




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