So you think that Muhammad Ali is the most famous convert to Islam? Well the “fastest-growing religion” may be welcoming a new brother to the fold, and brother, this potential convert would be a thriller.
It seems that Jermaine Jackson, who finished as runner-up on the British “Celebrity Big Brother,” believes that his ultra-famous little brother, Michael Jackson, has given “serious thought” about converting to Islam. That’s right folks. Brother Jermaine, a convert himself, said on Monday that he would like the King of Pop to consider Islam, saying that the religion would be “a great protection for [Michael] from all the things that he’s been attacked with, which are false.”
In an interview with BBC’s Asian Network, Jermaine Jackson said there’s strength and protection in Islam, adding that his faith kept him sane during his confinement in the Celebrity Big Brother house: “If I didn’t have Allah and my prayer rug, I would not have survived and the reason why is because it kept me focused, it kept me calm.”
Brother Michael, who now lives in Bahrain in the Middle East, has thought a lot about Islam during his long stays in the country, Jermaine said. Jermaine, in fact, takes credit for Michael moving to Bahrain, saying he “wanted him to get out of America and just go somewhere it’s peaceful and quite and people pray five times a day, which is beautiful.”
Having visited Western-loving Middle East countries myself (I spent a lovely vacation in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates a few years back), I can see how this part of the story could be true. Countries like Bahrain and the UAE are the near-perfect union of Western modernity and hipness with Muslim faith and morality.
But I’d be really, really surprised if Michael Jackson did indeed convert to Islam. After all, if some of his bizarre behaviors (not to mention his unfortunate trouble with child molestation accusations–though he was acquitted) don’t fly in the U.S., it would be doubly the case in the Muslim world.
But like all major religions, Islam believes in fresh start if a person is really sincere about it. So maybe the King of Pop, if he really wanted it, would have a better life as a Muslim. Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) sure has (in my humble opinion), made a success of it.