When people think of Muslims, they seldom think of artists or celebrities. But, in fact, many celebrities are Muslim, some converted by choice and others were born Muslim. Here are 9 celebrities that you probably didn’t even knew were Muslims
1. DJ Khaled
Khaled Bin Abdul Khaled, known as DJ Khaled, is an American rapper, producer an DJ. For him, being Muslim is more than only an identity: “It’s beautiful, it’s amazing, it’s incredible and it has put so many blessings upon me and my family,”.
2. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal is considered one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, The National Basketball Association. The retired legend is now a sports analyst on the television program ‘Inside the NBA’ on TNT. O’Neal was raised by his Baptist mother and Muslim stepfather. He spoke in 2010 publicly about going on hajj and his faith.
3. Dave Chapelle
David Chappelle is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer. He is known from movies such as ‘The Nutty Professor’ and ‘Half Baked’. He converted to Islam in 1988. In Time Magazine, the comedian said that he doesn’t “normally talk about my religion publicly because I don’t want people to associate me and my flaws with this beautiful thing. And I believe it is beautiful if you learn it the right way.”
4. Lupe Fiasco
Wasalu Muhammed Jaco, Lupe Fiasco’s full name, is a rapper, record producer and entrepreneur. He got signed by rapper Jay-Z and his debut album ‘Food and Liquor’ received tree Grammy nominations. The rapper was born and raised Muslim on the West side of Chicago. His faith helps him lead a better life, “We have faults. We make mistakes. That’s what religion is for, to help you correct your mistakes,” he said.
5. Busta Rhymes
Trevor George Smith Jr. is a worldwide American rapper, record producer, record executive and actor. He is a proud Muslim and attributes his success to the way his faith kept him grounded. He said during an interview in 2007, “I try to really just understand every aspect about the most high. For me, the most high is Allah… And I live my life by Islam. At the end of the day, I think that’s pretty much what grounds me in the way that I think most people should be grounded. That’s just enjoying who you are as a human life, as opposed to trying to add all these other additive and preservatives to your perspective on life.”
Akon is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and actor. He has founded two successful records Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Disctribution. In one of his songs he claims, “So what you know about how God comes first in our lives, everything that we do is for Allah.”
7. Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn is a successful actress, best known for her roles in The Exorcist, Requiem For a Dream, House Of Cards, etc. She was raised Catholic, but now affiliates with all religious faiths. Her spiritual journey began with Sufism, a mystical form of Islam.
Bonus: Casey Karam – voice behind Shaggy (Scooby Doo)
Casey Kasem is the voice behind the popular sidekick, Shaggy on Scooby Doo. Casey has been raised in the Druze Faith. It is a mixture of Islam and Gnosticism, it only holds about 1-2 millions members worldwide.
Muslims are a very diverse group, some of them are artists, others are athletes. There is not ‘one kind’ of Muslim. So be sure to not label them as such!