Jermaine Jackson wants Michael to convert to Islam

LONDON Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:22pm EST

1 of 2. Joseph Jackson (L), Michael Jackson, Katherine Jackson (C-Front) and Jermaine Jackson (R) arrive in court for Michael's child molestation trial in Santa Maria, California.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri/pool

LONDON (Reuters) - Jermaine Jackson said on Monday he wants his brother Michael to convert to Islam; and he believes the reclusive superstar has given it serious thought.

"Michael, I feel, needs to become a Muslim because I think it's a great protection for him from all the things that he's been attacked with, which are false," said the former Jackson Five singer who now lives in Bahrain.

"There's a strength and protection there," Jackson told BBC Asian Newtwork after finishing runner-up to Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty in the "Celebrity Big Brother" TV reality show that was marred by accusations of racist bullying.

Jackson said he believed his brother had given conversion "serious thought" during long spells in Bahrain.

"I was the reason why he had gone there because I wanted him to get out of America and just go somewhere it's peaceful and quiet and people pray five times a day which is beautiful."

Michael Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges in June 2005.

He has said he plans to move to Europe in a bid to resurrect his musical career as the "King of Pop" and has indicated he will release a new album in 2007.

Jermaine Jackson said his faith helped keep him sane in the enclosed confines of the British reality TV program where the contestants are kept cooped up under 24-hour surveillance.

"If I didn't have Allah and my prayer rug, I would not have survived and the reason why is because it kept me focused, it kept me calm," he said.

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