Arts & Culture

Michael Jackson Follows Jermaine’s Path to Islam

Reports are circulating this morning that onetime King of Pop Michael Jackson has converted to Islam and adopted the name Mikaeel. The Sun reports that Mikaeel (which is the name of ‘an angel of rain’ in the Koran) "donned Islamic … Read More

By / November 21, 2008

Reports are circulating this morning that onetime King of Pop Michael Jackson has converted to Islam and adopted the name Mikaeel. The Sun reports that Mikaeel (which is the name of ‘an angel of rain’ in the Koran) "donned Islamic garb to pledge allegiance to the Koran in a ceremony at a pal’s mansion in Los Angeles."

The Jackson children–Michael, Janet, LaToya, Tito, Jermaine, and Co.–were all raised in Indiana as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in celebrating birthdays or voting, considering both to be "too worldly." While pop star Prince, also a Witness, left his religious ways only to return a few years ago, the Jackson children have not been recently spotted knocking on any doors or handing out religious pamphlets. In 1989, Jermaine Jackson converted to Islam, and many believed his brother Michael might follow.

Last year, Jermaine was a houseguest on the British edition of Celebrity Big Brother. He proved surprisingly likeable and made it all the way to the finals (where he lost to Bollywood star and Richard Gere kiss recipient Shilpa Shetty). He brought his prayer mat into the house with him so that he could do the five traditional prayers a day facing Mecca. In a postshow interview with the Muslim News (UK), Jermaine said that he hoped his brother Michael would also convert to the faith. Michael was then living in Bahrain with his three children, Prince Michael Jackson, Paris Michael Jackson, and Prince Michael "Blanket" Jackson II. "I think it is most probable that Michael will convert to Islam," said Jermaine. "When I came back from Makkah [the Arabic word for the holy city of Mecca]. I got him a lot of books and he asked me lots of things about my religion and I told him that it’s peaceful and beautiful. He read everything and he was proud of me that I found something that would give me inner strength and peace."

As for whether Islam will provide Michael Jaskcon with inner strength and peace, that’s yet to be determined. However, he seems to have already embraced the notion of wearing a burqa in public.