In a starling Interview, Jermaine
Jackson, brother of world-famous star Michael Jackson, tells how he
Islam is a religion, which transcends
all petty prejudices of color, race and territorial boundaries. That is
why the followers of other religions, with a nearsighted vision, have a
sense of overflowing pride and relief when they embrace Islam. Deserting
the religion of one?s forefathers is one of the most difficult
decisions, but the golden principles and the virtues of broadmindedness
of Islam have persuaded mankind to adopt it as a way of life.
Now, therefore, Islam has emerged as
the greatest religion of the world. Jermaine Jackson, brother of
world-famous Michael Jackson is one of those men who have left the
religion of their forefathers and made Islam the inseparable part of
their life. From Jermaine Jackson, he has re-named as Muhammad Abdul-Aziz.
He lives in one of the luxurious palaces in the outskirts of Los Angeles
(USA). The palace of Abdul-Aziz is surrounded by beautiful gardens. This
is the place where he and his sisters compose their musical notes. This
remains under surveillance of more than 15 security vans round the
clock. This area which is known as ?Falis? in Los Angeles is
considered one of the most expensive areas the world over London based
Arabic "al-Mujallah" has recently published an interview of
Jermaine Jackson for the first time since he became Muslim. In this
interview, he has expressed his passionate love for Islam. Let us see
how he responded to various questions: -
When and How did you start your
journey towards Islam?
It was way back in 1989 when I, along
with my sister, conducted a tour to some of the countries of Middle
East. During our stay in Bahrain, we were accorded warm welcome. There I
happened to meet some children and had a light chitchat with them. I put
certain questions to them and they flung at me their innocent queries.
During the course of this interaction, they inquired about my religion.
I told them, "I am a Christian." I asked them, as to what was
their religion? A wave of serenity took over them. They replied in one
voice ? Islam. Their enthusiastic answer really shook me from within.
Then they started telling me about Islam. They were giving me
information, much in piece with their age. The pitch of their voice
would reveal that they were highly proud of Islam. This is how I paced
A very short interaction with a group
of children ultimately led me to have long discourses about Islam with
Muslim scholars. A great ripple had taken place in my thought. I made
failing attempt to console myself that nothing had happened but I could
not conceal this fact any longer from myself that at heart I had
converted to Islam. This I disclosed first to my family friend, Qunber
Ali. The same Qunber Ali managed to take me to Riyadh, capital of Saudi
Arabia. Till that time, I did not know much about Islam. From there, in
the company of a Saudi family, I proceeded for Mecca for the performance
of "Umrah". There I made public for the first time that I had
What were your feelings after
you proclaimed that you were a Muslim?
Having embraced Islam, I felt as if I
were born again. I found in Islam the answers to those queries which I
had failed to find in Christianity. Particularly, it was only Islam that
provided satisfactory answer to the question relating to the birth of
Christ. For the first time I was convinced about the religion itself. I
pray my family members might appreciate these facts. My family is the
follower of that cult of Christianity, which is known as AVENDANCE of
JEHOVA (Jehova's Witness). According to its creeds, only 144,000 men
would finally qualify to enter into paradise. ?How comes, It remained
always a perplexing creed for me. I was surprised to know that Bible was
compiled by so many men, particularly about a volume scripted by King
James. I wondered if a man compiles a directory and then ascribes it to
God, but he does not fully comply with these directions. During my stay
in Saudi Arabia I have had the opportunity to buy a cassette released by
the erstwhile British pop-singer and the present Muslim preacher, Yusuf
Islam (formerly Cat Stevens). I learnt a lot from this as well.
What happened when you got back
to the US after embracing Islam?
When I returned to USA, American
media orchestrated heinous propaganda against Islam and the Muslims. The
gossips were let loose on me which really disturbed my peace of mind.
The Hollywood was hell-bent upon maligning the Muslims. They were being
projected as terrorists. There are many things where there is consensus
between Christianity and Islam, and Quran presents Holy Christ as a
virtuous Prophet. Then, I wondered, why Christian America levels
baseless allegations against Muslims?
This made me gloomy. I made up my
mind that I would do my best to dispel the wrong image of Muslims,
portrayed by the American media. I had not the slightest idea that
American media would not digest the news of my accepting Islam and raise
such a great hue and cry. It was virtually acting against all its tall
and much-publicized claims about the freedom of expression and the
freedom of conscience. So the hypocrisy of American society came to
surface and lay uncovered before me. Islam unknotted many complications
for me. As a matter of fact, I came to think of myself as a complete
human being, in the literal sense of the word. After becoming Muslim, I
felt a tremendous change in me. I discarded all thing prohibited in
Islam. This made things difficult for my family too. In short, the
Jackson family tumbled altogether. Threatening letters poured in, which
further intensified the worries of my family.
What sort of threats?
Well, they would tell me that I had
nurtured the animosity of American society and culture, by entering into
the laps of Islam, you have deprived yourself of the right to live with
others. WE would make life unbearable for you in America so on, so
forth. But I confess that my family is broadminded. We have held all
religions in esteem. Our parents have trained and groomed us in that
way. Therefore, I may say that the Jackson family enjoys friendly
relation with people belonging to almost all religions. This is the
result of that training that I am being tolerated by them so far.
What was the reaction of your
brother Michael Jackson?
On my way back to America, I brought
a number of books from Saudi Arabia. Michael Jackson asked me himself
for some of these books for study. Before this, his opinion was
influenced by the propaganda of American media against Islam and the
Muslims. He was not inimical towards Islam, but he was not favorably
disposed towards Muslims either. But after reading these books, he would
keep mum and not say anything against Muslims. I think perhaps this is
the impact of the study of Islam that he diverted his business interests
towards Muslim traders. Now, he has equal shares with the Saudi
billionaire prince Waleed bin Talal, in his multi-national company.
It was said earlier that Michael
Jackson was against Muslims, then there are rumors that he had become
Muslim. What is the real story?
I testify this fact, at least there
is nothing in my knowledge that Michael Jackson ever said anything
derogatory against Muslims. His songs, too, give message of love for
others. We have learnt from our parents to love others. Only those who
have their own ax to grind hurl allegations on him. When there can be a
nasty uproar against me when I became Muslim, why can it not be so
against Michael Jackson. But, so far, media has not subjected him to
scathing criticism, although he is threatened for his getting somewhat
closer to Islam. But who knows what would it look like when Michael
Jackson embraces Islam.
What are the views of the rest
of the members of your family about you?
When I returned to America, my mother
had already heard the news of my conversion to Islam. My mother is a
religious and civilized woman. When I reached home, she put forth only
one question, "you have taken this decision all of a sudden, or is
it the outcome of some deep and long thinking behind it?" "I
have decided after a lot of thinking about it," I replied, let me
say we are known as a religious family. Whatever we possess, is due to
the blessing of God. Then why we should not be grateful to Him? This is
why we actively participate in the charity institutions. We dispatched
medicines to the poor African countries through special aircraft. During
Bosnian war, our aircraft were engaged in supplying aids to the
affectees. We are sensitive to such things because we have witnessed
abject poverty. We used to live in a house which was hardly a few square
Did you ever discuss about Islam
with your sister pop star Janet Jackson?
Like other members of my family, my
sudden conversion to Islam was a great surprise for her. In the
beginning, she was worried. She has stashed into her head only one thing
that Muslims are polygamous, they do have as much as four wives. When I
explained this permission granted by Islam with reference to the state
of the present American society, she was satisfied. This is fact that
promiscuity and infidelity is very common in the western society. In
spite of the fact that they are married, western men enjoy extramarital
relations with a number of women. This has caused devastating moral
decay in that society. Islam safeguards the social fabric from this
As per Islamic teachings, if a man is
emotionally attracted towards a woman, he should honorably give this
relation a legal shape otherwise he must be contented with only one
wife. On the other hand, Islam has laid down so much conditions for
second marriage that I do not think that an ordinary Muslim can afford
to meet these conditions financially. There is hardly one percent
Muslims in the Islamic world who have more than one wife. To my view,
the women in an Islamic society is just like a well-protected flower
which is safe from the stray penetrating looks of the viewers. Whereas
western society is devoid of the vision to appreciate this wisdom and
What are your spontaneous
feelings when you look at the Muslim society?
For the larger interest of humanity,
Islamic society presents the safest place on this planet. For instance,
take the example of women. American women are clad in their out-fit in
such a manner that gives temptation to the male for harassment. But this
is unthinkable in an Islamic society. Besides, the prevalent sins and
vices have disfigured the moral fabric of western society. I believe if
there is any place left where the humanity is still visible, it can not
be anywhere else than in an Islamic society. Time would come when the
world would be obliged to accept this reality.
What is your candid opinion
about the American media?
American media is suffering from
self-contradictions. Take the example of Hollywood. The status of an
artist is measured here keeping in view the model of his car, the
standard of this restaurant that he visits, etc. This is the media that
raises someone from the dust to the skies. They do not consider the
artist as a human being. But I have met so many artists in the Middle
East. They have no misplaced arrogance in them.
Just look at the CNN, they do that
much exaggeration about some news that it appears that nothing else has
happened except that event in the world. The news of fire in the forests
of Florida was given such a wide coverage as it gave the impression that
the whole globe has caught fire. In fact, it was a small area, which was
affected by that fire.
I was in Africa, when the bomb-blast
took place in Oklahoma City. The Media, without any proof, started
hinting at the involvement of Muslims in that blast. Later on the
Saboteur turned out to be a CHRISTIAN!!! We may term this attitude of
American media as its willful ignorance.
Can you maintain a Linkage
between your Islamic personality and the culture of your family?
Why not? This linkage can be kept up
for the achievement of good things.
After becoming Muslim, did you
ever happen to see Muhammad Ali?
Muhammad Ali is our family friend. I
have met him a number of times, after embracing Islam. He has provided
useful guidance about Islam.
Have you visited Shah Faisal
mosque in Los Angeles city?
Yes, of course! This is a beautiful
mosque. I am myself interested to construct a similar mosque in
?Falise? area because there is no mosques in this area and the
Muslim community is not resourceful enough purchase a piece of land for
a mosque in such a posh area. God willing, I would do it.
Who is ignorant of the services of
Saudi Arabia for the glorious cause of Islam? No doubt it has leisurely
financed the projects for mosques. But this American media even does not
spare Saudi Arabia; it spreads quite strange news about this country.
When I first visited Saudi Arabia, I had the impression that there would
be muddy housed and a very poor communication network. But when I
reached there, to my great surprise, I found it culturally the most
beautiful country of the world.
Who has influenced you, so far
as Islam is concerned?
Many persons have impressed me. But
the fact is that first I turn to the Holy Quran, therefore I do not run
a risk of getting strayed on the way. However, there are many Islamic
scholars that one can be duly proud of. God willing, I plan to go to
Saudi Arabia with my family to perform, ?Umrah?.
Your wife and children are
I have seven sons and two daughter
who, like me, are fully Islamic-oriented. My wife is still studying
Islam. She insists on going over to Saudi Arabia. I trust InshaAllah,
she would sooner join Islam. May God Almighty give us the courage and
perseverance to remain on this true religion, Islam. (Ameen)