10 Celebs You Didn't Know Were Muslim

Celebs Who Are Muslim

With ISIS being plastered across the pages of every major news outlet you can find, the Islamic faith has been getting a very bad rap as of late. What the mainstream media fails to portray whatsoever, however, are any of the positive aspects that the religion delivers. Over and over, the Western world is informed about another suicide bombing, beheading or war relative to the apparent beliefs of Islam. There's far more to it than that though. Not every Muslim is anti-American and out to cause others bodily injury - in fact, it's kind of nuts that the sentiment has even gotten to that level. The faith constitutes the world's second largest religious group, with 62% of practicing Muslims living in South-East Asia. Interestingly enough, a recent study by Pew Research Center found there to be more Muslims living in the United Kingdom than Lebanon, and more in China than Syria. Bet the news didn't tell you that.

The Islamic faith is heavy on morality and teaches its followers how to be pious, humble and accountable for their actions. Family values and respect towards others are heavily emphasized, as is the exercise of control in regards to one's passions and desires. Muslims are warned against vanity and excessive material pleasures in the world, which distract from a person's spirit. Sounds pretty good right? The ten celebrities we've rounded up below thought so too. While many were born into the Muslim faith, others converted to Islam later on in life after crediting it for having changed them into a better person.

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10 Janet Jackson

9 Mike Tyson

In 1992, Mike Tyson was convicted of rape and spent three years in prison. It was there that he began to explore his spiritual side and took a great interest in Islam, converting at the end of his term. Since then, he's tweeted about and taken a trip to Mecca - which is considered to be the Jerusalem of the religion. He's also married to a Muslim woman and says that the spirit of the religion has changed his life. He doesn't pray five times a day as is required by devout followers, but claims that the principles of Islam keep him on track.

8 Shaquille O'Neal

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports Images

7 Akon

6 Ice Cube

5 Dr. Oz

4 Dave Chappelle

3 Ellen Burstyn

Talented actress Ellen Burstyn was raised Catholic but converted to Islam in her thirties after leading a troubled life. She lived through an abusive childhood, three failed marriages and many career struggles before getting in touch with her spiritual side and meeting her mentor, a Sufi teacher. The religion is a dimension of Islam and she credits it for helping her get her life back on track, focus on her career and bring dimension to her Academy Award-winning roles.

2 Iman

The famous model was born in Somalia and her name, in Arabic, means "Faith". The term "Iman" is also a widely recognized Islamic concept, detailing the six articles of faith within the religion. In her biography I am Iman, the beauty details how she struggled with her career in the fashion industry as it went against all principles of her beliefs. She discusses how Islamic women are taught to treat their bodies as temples, yet by modelling she was letting people all around the world have access to hers. She has since become a motivational speaker and counsels youth who have body image and self esteem issues.

1 Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg is probably the least likely candidate to become a Muslim, which is why we've capped off our list with him. The rapper confessed to being a Mormon in 2008, before rapidly converting to Islam in 2009 following an appearance at the Nation of Islam's convention in Chicago. After numerous arrests, an accomplice to murder charge and a love for drugs in his career's earlier days, Snoop Dogg proclaimed himself a changed, spiritual man. His jaunt with Islam didn't last long - he changed his name to Snoop Lion and converted to Rastafarianism shortly after.

Sources: radaronline.com, businessinsider.com, ranker.com, beliefnet.com, post-gazette.com, theguardian.com, pewforum.org

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