Islam would have saved Michael Jackson, says brother
Converting to Islam would have saved the life of pop legend Michael Jackson, his brother Jermaine said in an interview to be aired Thursday.
Speaking ahead of the first anniversary Friday of the death of the "King of Pop" at the age of 50 from a prescription drug overdose, he told the BBC that his brother should have left the United States.
"I felt that if Michael would have embraced Islam he would still be here today and I say that for many reasons," Jermaine Jackson, who is a Muslim, told BBC World Service radio.
"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: "God is so powerful. He was studying. He was reading a lot of books, because I brought him books from Saudi Arabia. I brought him books from Bahrain.
"I was the one who originally put him in Bahrain because I wanted him to get out of America because it was having a cherry-picking time on my brother."
Jackson was found dead in his rented Los Angeles mansion on June 25 last year, a seismic celebrity death which triggered a global outpouring of tributes for the eccentric genius.
On Friday, Jackson fans are expected to pay their respects to their idol at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the LA suburb of Glendale, a star-studded cemetery where the singer's golden casket was entombed last September.
Jackson said his brother 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.
"So having those people around, you knew that you would be protected because it is protection from God," he added.
The year since Jackson's sudden death had been "tough," he said.
"There aren't no words to describe the feeling. It's a feeling that one would only know once they experience it. We are just learning to live with it. We'll never get over it," he added.
© 2010 AFP