Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Burning questions: was Michael Jackson a Muslim?
His brother Jermaine, who converted to Islam some time ago, said to his brother, "may Allah be with you always" at the close of his press conference following Michael's death, and news reports last November did say Jackson made the conversion in Los Angeles at a friends house, which takes him a long way from being a Jehovah's Witness as a child. And if Michael was indeed a Muslim at the time of his death, what does that mean for his funeral arrangements? Islam has very specific rules for burial and for funerals, including a requirement that the body be interred within 24 hours. Obviously, with the coroner's inquest going on, that hasn't happened. And there are some disputes over whether his formal conversion took place at all, combined with what will surely be tremendous pressure to hold a traditional, public funeral. [Picture at left: Jackson seen walking with his youngest son Prince Michael II last year, wearing what looks like a Muslims woman's burqa...]

Among the global news reaction to Jackson's death was this tidbit from Russia:

The more sober state news agency RIA Novosti questioned, wrongly as it turned out, whether an autopsy would be allowed on Jackson — who had reportedly converted to Islam late last year.

Muslim cleric, Damir Gizatullin, vice president of the Russian Council of Muftis, told RIA Novosti that autopsies were forbidden on Muslims and, according to Islamic belief, Jackson should be buried within 24 hours of his death.

And some Muslims are indeed debating Jackson's religion online.

The plot continues to thicken.

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posted by JReid @ 4:51 PM  
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