The Jacksons are no strangers to controversy. Now, it’s Janet’s turn once again. The 50-year old pop performer has invited criticism from her inner circle for converting to Islam – and for a series of religious ceremonies involving Jackson and husband Wissam Al-Mana’s new infant son, Eissa.
An unnamed source with ties to the Jackson family told a reporter from Radar Online that the infant was given a Muslim birth ceremony. Immediately after the successful delivery on January 3rd, Al-Mana whispered into the child’s ear a message about Allah, the deity of the Islamic faith, and Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, the source said.
Jackson’s husband also reportedly rubbed fruit on the child’s tongue, a Muslim tradition said to ensure passing-down of the father’s character traits.
More shockingly, the unverified report also claims that an animal, possibly a sheep, was sacrificed to Allah in celebration of the new family member.
Jackson has been exhibiting signs of a conversion to Islam since the couple’s wedding in 2012, wearing burkas in public and telling concert audiences “Inshallah,” or “If Allah wills it.”
It is not the iconic family’s first brush with Islam.
In 2004, shortly after sister Janet’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl, Jermaine Jackson’s third marriage took place in a mosque in Los Angeles. In 2009, Jermaine began stating in interviews that late brother Michael Jackson, known world-wide as “The King of Pop,” converted to Islam before his death, a statement later echoed by Janet in a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The Jacksons were raised Christian in the evangelical Jehovah’s Witness denomination, fueling speculation that the siblings’ Islamic faith does not sit well with some family members. Janet’s conversion, marriage and recent birthing ceremony could lead to further controversy in the United States and in Europe, where attacks by violent Muslim extremists have been on the rise over the past few years.
But fans of the legendary songstress don’t seem to mind. Her latest album Unbreakable was released in October 2015 and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 pop chart. One week later, Jackson was nominated to become a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.