Zayn Malik doesn't talk much about being Muslim, so some fans will be surprised to learn that he is a follower of the religion of Islam.
Perhaps Zayn has even been advised not to talk about his religion too muchÂ—sadly there are still lots of people who believe that all Muslims are terrorists, so it's possible that One Direction's management doesn't want his religion to become a hot topic. If Zayn talked about his religion all the time, he would definitely become the target of some of the extreme conservative Christian groups out there. And of course the band's management probably doesn't want to have to deal with all that hate and negativity.
But perhaps Zayn Malik should talk about his faith more so that people will start to understand the difference between Muslims and Islamists. Just like there are extreme people calling themselves Christians (think the Westboro Baptist Church), there are extreme people who consider themselves followers of the religion of Islam. Islamists differ from peaceful Muslims by rallying against other religions like Christianity and Judaism, and they also tend to hate Western ideals like democracy and capitalism. So obviously Zayn doesn't want his fans to think that he's Islamist.
He did, however, let them know that he's a follower of Islam by tweeting, "La ila ha ill lalla ho muhammed door rasoolalah." This translates to, "There is no god but God and Mohammad is the prophet of God."
This one little tweet has led to a really big discussion about Zayn's religion. According to MSNBC, screenwriter Wajahat Ali, who is a practicing Muslim, sees the One Direction singer embracing being a Muslim but being known for his talent rather than just his religion as a good thing. It shows that being a Muslim doesn't have to hold someone back if they pursue a career in the spotlight and that they can have fans of many different faiths.
It has also become a hot topic among fans, who debate whether or not his religion should be a big deal. Some fans think that it shouldn't matter at all, while many Muslim Directioners love that they have a guy to idolize who understands where they're coming from.
But then of course there are those who see his religion as a bad thing. An anti-Islam commentator in America wants the parents of Directioners to keep their daughters away from "Zayn Malik's enticing jihad." The pop star was also accused of trying to convert "mindless girls" and called "dangerous." But one look at shy, soft-spoken Zayn, and it's obvious that he's not out to hurt or convert anyone.
There are also conservative Muslims who aren't a fan of Zayn's tattoos, smoking, and song lyrics. So if Zayn wants to talk more about his religion, he's probably going to have to deal with a lot of hate.
However, perhaps Zayn is doing the right thing right now. He's showing that he's proud of his religion but isn't making the one thing that defines him. In other words, he's just like his One Direction band mates. Niall Horan basically admitted he was an atheist on his old Bebo page by saying that he doesn't believe in Heaven, Hell, or God, but he doesn't talk about this constantly, and neither do his fans.
But that's what makes One Direction so beautiful to so many DirectionersÂ—they all have different personalities and different beliefs, but by working together and becoming such great friends with one another, they've become extremely successful. Perhaps the rest of the world could actually learn a lot from them.
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