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Is Jemima's Marriage With Islam Also In Trouble?

Is Jemima's Marriage With Islam Also In Trouble?

By Iftikhar Qureshi, Sydney

Since her divorce with cricketer turned politician Imran Khan in June this year, Jemima Khan is under constant media spotlight. Now as the millionaire heiress is settled in the UK, the paparazzi are trying to zoom in on her each and every movement, the journalists are keeping a diary of her daily guest list and are speculating on her current and future life. Some media reports have even been suggesting that she has already started her new innings of life with British actor Hugh Grant. It looks that media attention, so far, is focused mainly on two aspects of Jemima's life -- her previous affair/marriage with Imran and her new alleged affair with Hugh Grant. So far nobody has bothered to look at her very important third and an ongoing affair, which is also in trouble. I'm talking about Jemima's affair or marriage with Islam.

Recently, while searching some Islamic sites for research purposes I found an article titled 'Why I Chose Islam - Jemima Goldsmith (Wife of Imran Khan)'. I had already studied the article a long time ago. But the recent divorce of Jemima and Imran, my love for cricket, my interest in Islam (purely for educational purposes I'm neither an Islamic scholar nor an activist) and my Pakistani roots encouraged me to read the article again. After the second reading I found the article very important. Why? Because when I analysed Jemima's present life through the prism of her claims she made in her article nine years ago I came to a single conclusion -after Imran, Jemima's marriage with Islam is also in trouble. In following paragraphs I'll explain, in light of Jemima's article, why is the relationship between Jemima and Islam going through difficult times?

In her article 'Why I Chose Islam', Jemima Khan termed Western women's 'access to nightclubs, alcohol and revealing clothes as 'transient pleasures' and expressed her willingness to forego these pleasures not for Imran but for 'Islam.' But contrary to what she believed nine years ago, Jemima Khan, three months before divorcing with Imran, celebrated her 30th birthday in 'Annabel's', a nightclub, in the company of many celebrities including Hugh Grant. Nine years ago at the age of 21, the daughter of late UK billionaire Sir James Smith found traditional Pakistani shalwar kameez (tunic and loose trousers) 'far more elegant and feminine than anything.' After nine years, at her 30th birthday Jemima Khan, however, switched reportedly to a 'shining bronze dress (which was) above the knee with plunging neckline.' So, has shalwar kameez become less 'elegant' or Western dresses have become more 'feminine' recently? Only Jemima can explain it better.

Jemima Khan claimed in 'Why I Chose Islam' that she thoroughly studied Quran and Islam and her conversion to Islam was not the 'pre-requisite' to her marriage. It means that her marriage and divorce with Imran have nothing to do with her conversion to Islam. Here a question arises if Jemima's relationship with Islam is so deep then why she has bidden goodbye to an Islamic society where women are more respected and honoured, where dresses are elegant, where a woman does not need 'superficialities' like night clubs and mini skirts? One can pose another question to the British socialite in light of her previous claims. Which is 'transient'? Her life before and after marriage or a nine-year period of conjugal life? The current pursuits of Jemima Khan in London convince us that the pleasures (if any) she derived from her nine-year stay in an Islamic society actually were 'transient'.

Jemima needs to make herself clear on her relationship with Islam because there seem many discrepancies when her present life is examined through the lens of her earlier claims of converting to Islam 'entirely through (her) own convictions.' So, we are anxiously waiting for the second installment of 'Why I Chose Islam'.


Iftikhar Qureshi is freelance journalist and student based in Sydney. His country of birth is Pakistan where he worked for Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) for about 04 years from 1996-2000. Currently, I hold Australian citizenship.

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