More Lies From The Phony Booth

You may recall that I called BS on anti-Israel, terrorist emboldener Lauren Booth’s conversion-to-Islam story. For the simple reason that she had more than one version.

Now she has come up with yet another.

lauren booth muslimIn 2008, she went to Gaza as part of the “Free Gaza” movement. That was a turning point. She was in a group of 46, traveling in two boats. Only three were Muslims. It was a deliberate decision to include few Muslims because “we white Westerners from Europe and America wanted to show the world that we too cared about the plight of the Gazans.” 

The group was the first in 41 years to sail into Gaza from outside. Children swam out into the ocean to meet them. “It was like D-Day in Paris!”

Lauren knew something inside her was changing. God was charting a course for her, only she didn’t know what. Planning to stay for a few days, she ended up staying a month because the Israelis and the Egyptians blockaded her group in Gaza.
I remember crying one day because I had just spoken to my daughter. I had not seen my children for a month. Then an elderly Palestinian woman came and sat by me. She was a stranger to me as much as I was to her. ‘I am so sorry,’ she said. ‘I can see you miss your children.’”

Then she told me her story. She used to live in the West Bank. One day she had to travel to Gaza for a day. The Israelis let her in. When she tried to return, though, the Israelis tore up her papers, threw her into the back of a van and dumped her in Gaza. “She hadn’t seen her husband and two sons for four years! And here she was, trying to console me and crying with me! How can you even begin to describe such empathy?”

I began to love the Arabs for their hospitality, empathy and the grace of their faith in the face of cruelty. I became what you might call an Arabaphile. But I was still not interested in Islam.”

It was the month of Ramadan. A family in the refugee camp invited her to share iftar with them. Sixteen of them were packed into a hovel. But the smile they greeted her with made her feel as if she was entering a palace.

Bet when she sat down to eat, she was angry with the Muslim God. “These people had so little to eat, yet their God demanded that they fast as well! He must be a cruel God indeed!”

When she asked her hosts why they fasted in such wretched condition, they told her they loved Allah and His prophet more than anything else in the world. Since Allah asked Muslims to fast, they obeyed His command with gratitude.  Lauren saw the enormous love in their eyes. Something stirred inside her. “If this is Islam, I told myself, I want it. I want to be a part of this generosity, this empathy. I will join this faith with all my heart.”

Still, she had ways to go.

Returning to London and resuming her work, she came in contact with Somali and Eritrean cab drivers. Their passion about Islam overwhelmed her. They told her the most beautiful stories about the prophet, about how he taught that paradise lay beneath the feet of mothers, that the mother was the most venerable person on earth, far more than the father.

The stories moved her to tears. They were in stark contrast to what she saw in her own society. She knew of no one in her circle – not a single English man or woman – who was looking after his or her family. Children showed no sympathy toward their aging parents or grandparents. The attitude was: Send them off to homes and let them fend for themselves.

Yet these humble cab drives worked 18-20 shifts so they could send money back home for the care of their extended families. Their love and concern for their parents, spouses and children were palpable.

It all came together for her when she went to Iran to report for Press TV. At a mosque in Qom, she suddenly found herself crying. She used to think she was so smart and clever, yet realized in a moment of blinding clarity that narcissism led to nowhere. All negative feelings drained away from her. “I said from the heart, ‘O Allah, Thank you!’ A shot of pure emotional joy coursed through my veins. That night, I slept on the floor of the mosque. I was anxious. Where was I heading? What lay ahead for me?”

Notice how there is no mention of the supposed “key moment” she described in her last version, taking a walk in the woods and “feeling..the beauty of the creation of trees by Allah” after her then husband’s coma. Nor is there any mention of the moment when “everything started” according to a different version – her interview with the guardian of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Palestine in 2007.

Nope. It looks like she has now decided to tie her decision to convert to the generosity and empathy of palestinians and other Arabs.

But the lies don’t end there. Booth clearly told her Muslim audience that her mother was Christian.

She grew up in East London, a child of the ‘70s. The family was poor. Sometimes even basic necessities were scarce. Her father was a lapsed Catholic. Secularism overtook his faith. He was a good man who found solace in drinks. Her mother was a superstitious Christian. Not a churchgoer, she surrounded herself with religious icons to keep evil at bay.

But the truth is something else entirely.

Confusingly, as if there aren’t enough female names in the mix, what with eight daughters and four ex-wives, he (Booth’s father – ed) calls Lauren Sarah, the birth name she later changed.

He scoffs continually as we talk about Lauren/Sarah. His reaction on hearing about her conversion was to ‘laugh my head off’ and ask: ‘Whatever next?’

‘I mean, come on, the girl doesn’t have a spiritual bone in her body,’ he says.

‘Anyway, can you convert from Judaism to Islam?

‘The things is her mother was ­Jewish. Sarah wasn’t brought up a practicising Jew, but it goes down the female line, doesn’t it?’

He points out that Lauren hates her mother Pamela Smith, a model, ‘almost as much as she hates me. So maybe that’s what this is all about’

The question is why did she lie about her mother’s religion? Is is because she hates Jews, or because she simply does not know how to tell the truth?


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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