The UK's Saudi ambassador converted his religion. Here's why his counterpart can't do the same

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Friday 16 September 2016 08:15
Picture: Twitter/Fawziah1

The UK's ambassador to Saudi Arabia completed a pilgrimage to Mecca this week after converting to Islam.

Simon Collis is thought to be the first British ambassador to complete the Hajj and was pictured at the holy site with his wife Huda Mujarkech.

The ambassador later revealed that he converted to the religion shortly before his marriage in 2011.

Sadly, as others have pointed out, his Saudi counterpart to the UK, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, can't do the same - the punishment for apostasy (denouncing one's religion) in the kingdom is death by beheading.

The rate of executions in Saudi Arabia set a 21-year record in 2015, and after the first six months of this year 2016 was on course to beat that.

As well as apostasy, the "crimes" for which people can be executed in the country include adultery, blasphemy, sodomy and sorcery.