NEW DELHI: Australia’s top-order batsman Usman Khawaja will be heading down the aisle in April, after getting engaged to long time girlfriend Rachel McLellan, who embraced Islam.
The couple appearing on ‘When Ussie Met Rachel’ airs on 60 Minutes on Sunday night, open up to host Allison Langdon on why she’s converting to Muslim religion from Catholicism, reported DailyMail.
“Did you feel pressure to convert to Islam for Usman?” 8.40 SUNDAY on #60Mins | How Australia’s first Muslim test cricketer and his Catholic bride-to-be are combining cricket and culture. pic.twitter.com/IA6qciLWxR
— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) March 15, 2018
Sharing her story Rachel says, “Ussie was the first Muslim I’d ever met.”
“I was very ignorant around Ussie, I will admit to that. I only listened to what I had heard on the news All I read was well, terrorists and awful things.”
For the first Muslim to ever play cricket for Australia, faith has always come first in Uman’s life.
So, when 31-year-old batsman met and fell for a 22-year-old Catholic school girl, Rachel from Brisbane, their relationship blossomed.
And also the couple have faced outrage when their relationship become public after Khawaja proposed her during a New York holiday in July 2016.
“A lot of times a lot of the hate I get is from other Muslims on social media.”
“We will put up a photo of us two, and it will be like, ‘Oh she’s not Muslim. That’s haram, you can’t marry her.’”
Knowing how important Islam was to Pakistani-born Australian cricketer and his family, and become fully aware of how strong her feelings were for Usman, Rachel began doing a lot of thinking and made the decision on her own to convert to Islam.
When Langdon asked, “Did you feel pressure to convert to Islam for Usman?”
“[I felt] no pressure from him, not any pressure from his family,” says Rachel. “I just knew it was so important to him.”
The left-hander elegant batsman said he never put any pressure on Rachel to switch religion for him.
“I never was going to put a gun to Rachel’s head and say you have to convert,” says Usman.
“I told her I would prefer her to convert but she has to do it on her own. Unless it comes from you, comes from the heart, then there is no point doing it.”
And walking away from her Catholic roots, Rachel embraced to Islam last year.