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Michael Jackson ‘Converts’ to Islam

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Arts & Culture, International Relations, Music, Religion

The King of Pop Michael Jackson has done it again and stories about his alleged conversion to Islam are keeping blogs in the Middle East abuzz with snark comments. Is Jackson's conversion a part of an American conspiracy “to destroy Islam from within,” is it a media stunt or has he finally found his true calling?

The Skeptic [1] from Egypt remarks:

London’s Sun [2] and the slightly more reputable Telegraph [3] report that Michael Jackson has converted to Islam. Both papers run photos of Jackson out and about in Bahrain, dressed in drag.

I think Run CMD said it best over email: “It’s obviously all part of a devious American plan to destroy Islam from within. Michael Jackson is working for Dick Cheney. It all makes sense now.”

From Kuwait, Loft965 [4] notes:

According to this article [5], Michael Jackson has been converted. These rumors have been circulating for ages now, but this one seems to be true as all the news agencies are talking of it. It started with Jermaine Jackson and then the Bahrain residence and now his name is Mikaeel. I don’t understand why you have to change your name if you convert. It’s not mandatory. And he has the world’s most recognized name. I don’t know what to think of this but he sure looks good in a burqa (a veil which covers the face).

Some Contrast [6], another Kuwait blogger, also tackles the topic.

And Palestinian-American blog Kabobfest [7], writes about Jackson's alleged conversion and his court case with a Bahraini prince, Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Bahraini King's son who is suing the King of Pop for $7 million. News [8] is just out that the case has been settled out of court.

In this post, Kalash says:

You may have heard about the latest lawsuit facing Michael Jackson [9] – a Bahraini prince paid him millions of dollars for an album and book that were never produced. What you probably didn't know is that Jacko has an ace up his sleeve…

The King of Pop converted to Islam. I've been hearing rumors ever since he started spending so much time in the Middle East, but the detail in the most recent report [10] leaves little room for doubt. He even changed his name to Mikaeel. I guess he wasn't feeling those Jehovah's Witnesses anymore.

Jordanian blogger Kinzi responds to the post saying:

I almost blogged about this, thought it is better not coming from me.
Mabruk (Congratulations), Ummah of Islam. What a prize. Um, good luck, whoever his handler will be. Piece of work, indeed.

But American Muslim Girl adds:

you know what… I feel sorry for him and definitely he might have some, uh, issues and stuff, but…
I don't know… I wouldnt turn anyone away, especially not someone with a huge mic and many “followers.”

Closer to the action, from Bahrain, which Jackson stayed for a year and where a member of the Royal family is at the centre of the court case which has thrust back the 50-year-old pop star to the front pages of newspapers, Esra'a from Mideast Youth [11]runs the headline: Islam wins: Michael Jackson converts.

She further adds:

This one-gloved thriller star is being sued [12] by a local prince here for going against some “contract” and not recording songs about peace or something. Not that anyone cares what he does. But sometimes I do, because I grew up obsessing with him. Then I wasn’t sure if he was white or black or if it was “forbidden” for me to practically worship because he turned into plastic. Or a woman.

He’s apparently now converting to Islam. [13] I am still in the “not caring” category.

Esra'a also digs up a two-year old sarcastic letter she penned two years ago, in which a fictional Jackson addresses the world. In the letter, Esra'a writes:

I’m afraid I’m legally banned from going near any playground since this whole unfortunate misunderstanding with my trousers. That story has gotten a lot of attention from the media. Speaking of the overzealous media, I don’t know why I’m surrounded with cameras all the time. I’m sure the boys and girls of Bahrain don’t want a succession of blurry photos showing me thrashing around my bedroom with a framed picture of their King.

I started wearing an abaya (black cloak women in Bahrain wear).

Our last stop is with Israelicool [14], from Israel, who notes:

Islam has a new, wacky recruit [2] […] Mikaeel? Sounds more like he has converted to Russian mob boss.

But if it turns out that Jackson did convert to Islam, I wonder if he will adapt some of his old songs to conform with his new beliefs. I am guessing Beat It may be a prime contender [15].

Commenting on this post, TechyNews notes:

Oh no poor Islam, I am sure they didn't want Wacko Jacko to join their ranks. Also was this just his excuse to wear a Burka instead of the hospital mask to cover his face? Silly Jacko, Burkas are for Chicks.