His declaration has caused a firestorm and earned him attacks from Muslims.
The former One Direction band member granted an interview to British Vogue where he said he never talked about his religious beliefs but added, “I’m not professed to be a Muslim”. He was then asked if he would call himself a Muslim now and he says thoughtfully, “No, I wouldn’t”.
The Pillowtalk hitmaker said although he had a ‘spiritual belief’ of a god, that he did not endorse Islam religious practices such as daily prayer and eating halal meat. He said:
‘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. I just believe if you’re a good person everything is going to go right for you.’
Zayn says he appreciates the fact that he went to Mosque and learned about Islam and that there are beautiful parts of the faith but he chooses not to identify with it any more.
The news was met with shock in his home city, Bradford, not because he no longer identifies as a Muslim but because he had the courage to admit it. Some are saying that it’s hardly a surprise given Zayn’s penchant for smoking, drinking and showing off tattoos but others have reacted with frightening fury.
A lot of followers are calling for him to be unfollowed. And some have done and threatened even worse, to the extent of being vile and abusive.
There are people saying he needs more prayers and guidance at this turbulent time, that he’s obviously lost.