George Walker Bush, the 43rd President of the United States has announced his conversion to Islam and taken the Islamic name Tariq Ali. ?I?ve gotten to know many members of the Islamic community recently,? Bush explained, ?and I just thought I?d give it a try. We need to be more ecumenical in our approach.?

Mr. Bush has also stated that his wife and daughters have entered ?full purdah.? Press inquiries revealed that the Bush sisters have voluntarily confined themselves to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Seraglio in Austin. Their Secret Service protection has been withdrawn ?because it will no longer be necessary. The SAEs will keep the girls under close observation at all times,? according to security personnel.

The First Lady is having a series of burqas designed by Versace. She will be fully covered, but will wear different burqas, depending on the occasion. For example, her sports burqa is made of exclusive Egyptian cotton, and is light enough to enable her to continue to indulge her passion for swimming.

When asked whether or not he had consulted Bush family spiritual adviser Billy Graham about his change of religion,the President replied, ?He doesn?t mind, he?s a Jew. They?re very familiar with Moslem culture.?

Yasir Arafat sent the President the gift of a burnoose, which he is seen wearing in the official photograph (above) issued by the White House.

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