June 27 2010
Michael Jackson would still be alive if he had converted to Islam, according to a brother of the “King of Pop”, whose death a year ago today is being marked by fans around the globe.
During an interview with the BBC World Service aired yesterday, Jermaine Jackson also said the star, who died at the age of 50 from a prescription drug overdose, should have left the United States and moved to the Gulf.
“I felt that if Michael would have embraced Islam he would still be here today and I say that for many reasons,” said Jermaine Jackson, who is a Muslim. “Why? Because when you are 100 per cent clear in your mind as to who you are and what you are and why you are and everybody around you, then things change in a way that’s better for you. It’s just having that strength.”
He added: “He was studying. He was reading a lot of books, because I brought him books from Saudi Arabia. I brought him books from Bahrain.”
Jermaine said he was the one who introduced Jackson to Bahrain in 2005 – after the star was acquitted of child sex abuse charges – because he wanted his brother to “get out of America”. Arriving as a personal guest of Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the singer purchased a 14-acre plot on the Gulf archipelago and pledged money to build a mosque to show his appreciation for the country’s hospitality.
Jermaine said his brother, who was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, was not against converting to Islam.
“All of his security became Muslims because he trusted Islam, because these are people who would lay their lives down and also who were trying to be the best kind of human beings they could possibly be, not for Michael Jackson, for Allah,” he said.
His death last year in Los Angeles sparked an outpouring of grief around the world for the star, who was rehearsing for a series of comeback concerts.
Jackson’s personal doctor is awaiting trial for causing the singer’s death by giving him a powerful anaesthetic as a sleep aid.