In the first exclusive interview with an Arab Channel, Michael Jackson’s brother told AlArabiya TV on Wednesday that the King of Pop was on the verge of converting to Islam.
After spending more than one year in the Gulf region, Michael Jackson read a lot about Islam and was very affected by it, said Jermaine Jackson, singer, composer, and former member of The Jackson 5.
“After he got back from Bahrain, Michael hired a team that was all Muslim,” he told Al Arabiya. “His behavior at the time also showed that he was very close to converting.”
Jermaine added that he was personally in favor of his brother converting to Islam and that he kept pushing him to do so.
“I believe that Islam would have helped him a lot. Had he converted, he would have been spared all the problems he had been subjected to throughout his life.”
In November 2008, The Sun reported that Jackson officially converted to Islam and held a ceremony in a friend’s mansion is Los Angeles where he wore an Islamic garb and an Imam’s hat to pledge allegiance to the new religion.
According to the paper, an Imam was summoned from the mosque to bear witness to Jackson’s declaration of Islam, making his conversion official.
In the same month, the Daily Mail reported that Jackson was spotted feeling “a bit down” by songwriter David Wharnsby and producer Phillip Bubal, who have both embraced Islam. They started talking to him about their beliefs and how they became better people after they converted.
They told him Islam was the solution to his problem and he began “warming up to the idea,” the paper reported.
Jermaine, who converted to Islam in 1989 after a trip to the Middle East, told the press earlier that after he performed his pilgrimage ritual in Mecca, he noticed that his brother started asking him a lot of questions about Islam.
Jermaine gave Michael many books about Islam which the latter read avidly. Afterwards, Jermaine added, Michael told him he was proud of him for finding something that could give him such strength and inner peace.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).