From MTV to Mecca
by Backer, Kristiane
In the early 1990s, Kristiane Backer became one of the very first presenters on MTV Europe. For years she lived and breathed the international music scene, quickly gaining a cult following amongst viewers and becoming a darling of the European press. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Mick Jagger, Bono, Bob Geldof, Jim Kerr, Take that and Cat Stevens, Kristiane was catapulted to the forefront of popular culture. Through a fateful meeting with the famous cricketer Imran Khan, Kristiane travelled to Pakistan, where she encountered a completely different world to the one she knew: the religion and culture of Islam. She was drawn to this way of life which was dominated by a love of God and began to read the Quran and to study books about the Faith. The more she immersed herself in the world of Islam, the more she found herself dissatisfied with her own life. With the support of friends she met through Imran Khan, Kristiane began to learn the true values of the religion and, in 1995, decided to become a Muslim. From MTV to Mecca takes the reader on a spiritual and cultural journey across the globe – from Pakistan to Bosnia, LA to London, Hamburg to Saudi Arabia – that will inspire Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Encountering Islamic academics, musicians and fellow converts, Kristiane finds the spiritual path of Sufism and embarks on the ultimate journey – the pilgrimage to Mecca. We share Kristiane’s highs and lows as she adopts Islam; from the difficulties of finding love, to embracing Islamic practices in day-to-day life, to dealing with prejudices, misconceptions and professional struggles, and she speaks with startling honesty of what it truly means to be a practicing Muslim in Western society.