Ali Eteraz also pores through the evidence:
In the Muslim world Jackson was very well received and never lost his iconic stature. He was so loved that rumors of his conversion to Islam had been in existence for countless years. (I heard them in Pakistan when I was growing up there in the 80’s). These rumors probably began as a case of Muslim wishful thinking which I previously analyzed and refer to as Muslamism whereby every famous person, from Shakespeare, to Napoleon, to Will Smith, to Jackson, is turned into a Muslim. (Recently the wish seems to be stronger if the individual happens to be black).
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2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan