BIRMINGHAM: Zayn Malik has claimed he no longer identifies as Muslim – and a fierce backlash has been sparked.
The former One Direction star revealed he has ditched religion in a brand-new interview.
Malik reportedly said : “I am not professed to be a Muslim,” adding that he would not call himself a Muslim.
He added: “I believe whatever people’s religious beliefs are is between them and whoever or whatever they’re practicing.
“For me, I have a spiritual belief of there is a God.
“Do I believe there’s a hell? No.”
Malik said he simply believes in being a good person.
He added: “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.
“I don’t believe any of it.”
“With my mum and dad, they were always there to educate us […] but they gave us the option so you could choose for yourself,” he explained.
Speaking to the Evening Standard in June 2017, Malik said he is proud of his Muslim background.
“I take a great sense of pride – and responsibility – in knowing that I am the first of my kind, from my background. I’m not currently practicing but I was raised in the Islamic faith, so it will always be with me, and I identify a lot with the culture. But I’m just me. I don’t want to be defined by my religion or my cultural background,” he said at the time.
Fans took to social media to have their say – and they were confused.
“Cancelled,” one wrote.
Another said their heart was “breaking”.