Zayn Malik confirms he has stopped identifying as Muslim because he no longer 'believes any of it'
You won't find many celebrities who are willing to discuss openly their faith, but Zayn Malik turned this on its head when he recently opened up about his religious beliefs.
The singer caught many of his fans off-guard though when he revealed that he no longer identifies as a Muslim.
Speaking to British Vogue, the former One Direction singer confirmed that, although he had been brought up as a Muslim by his parents, he had now left the faith and no longer believed in any religion.
"I don’t believe you need to eat a certain meat that’s been prayed over a certain way, I don’t believe you need to read a prayer in a certain language five times a day," he said. "I don’t believe any of it. I just believe if you’re a good person everything is going to go right for you."
While the I Don't Wanna Live Forever star didn't consider himself tied to any one faith, he did add that he had a "spiritual belief" of a God, stating: "I’m not professed to be a Muslim. I believe whatever people’s religious beliefs are is between them and whoever or whatever they’re practicing."
Zayn’s father Yaser is British-Pakistani and his mother Trisha converted to Islam when she met him; they raised both Zayn and his sister as Muslims. However, the 25-year-old claimed it was "easy" to leave Islam because his parents always gave their children a choice to follow the religion in their own way.
Despite his big reveal, the singer admitted that he was hesitant to discuss his faith, stating it "becomes a religious f***ing debacle of philosophers."
"I just want to keep it between me and whatever I believe. I feel like that makes me move through life in a nice way," he said.
After hearing the news, fans were divided online, with many upset to hear that Zayn was distancing himself from his religion.
One Twitter user going by the name of @Sava63_ wrote to Zayn on Twitter to express her disappointment.
"I really liked you when you were proud to be a muslim because you changed some people ideas about islam but know you are denying you religion and not believing in it ,that broke my heart even when you weren’t a good muslim I hope that you rethink about your decision (sic)," she put.
Other people online were livid at his interview, claiming he "mocked" Muslims with his comments, with @GeorgetteSmithM tweeting: "Wait so I just read Zayn's statement about leaving Islam and it's a nice piece BUT like did he need to mock muslims and their practices while doing it? Gross
However, some people reminded fans that Zayn had never claimed to be a devout Muslim, as evidenced by his drinking and smoking.
"You guys really expected Zayn Malik, a singer, someone who drinks, smokes, parties, has tattoos is every edge of his body to consider himself a Muslim? What are you all shocked about, Im confused (sic)," wrote @rxiamah.
While the reaction online at first glance seemed wholly negative, there were a lot of fans who commended the Let Me star for his "bravery".
Twitter user @HinaTweetsNow said: "Gotta admit, never really thought much about Zayn Malik, but DAMN, that was brave! Coming out as a non-believing Muslim, being one of the most famous and recognized Muslims in the world, is a huge step forward for Ex-Muslims (sic)".
Here's hoping fans will come around and accept Zayn's decision.