Zayn Malik is undoubtedly one of the most recognized faces in the world, thanks mostly to his earlier career as one of the members of the British boy band One Direction. But Zayn has now admitted that during his earlier days in the band, he was treated no different than any Muslim youth, revealing an incident where he was once detained for over three hours by airport officials, and questioned, before being released.
The “Pillowtalk” singer revealed that the incident happened during his first trip to the United States. Despite being with all the other members of One Direction, Zayn reportedly went through three different security checks before he even got on the plane, the singer said in an interview with the Evening Standard.
“The first time I came to America, I had three security checks before I got on the plane. I was 17, my first time in America, jet-lagged off the plane, confused. The same thing happened the next time too.”
Zayn, however, says he no longer holds any hard feelings regarding the experience, saying that he understood that a certain level of precaution had to be taken.
“I understand the level of caution that needs to be taken, especially now, in the light of certain events at home. I don’t think there’s any benefit to getting angry — it’s something that comes with the climate. I understand why they’ve got to do it.”
Zayn, who is now 24 years old, says that he still identifies as a Muslim, although he is not currently practicing Islam. He also opened up about being raised a British Muslim, and what it has meant to him and his career. He says that he takes great pride in the idea that he is one of the first of his background to make it in the entertainment industry, although he does not like being defined based on his religion or cultural 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.”
Zayn Malik was raised in a working-class Bradford neighborhood in East Bowling. His father Yaser was a British Pakistani and was a house husband. His mother Tricia, who worked as a chef, converted to Islam when she married Yaser. Together Yaser and Tricia have four children, Zayn and his three sisters.
Zayn also criticized the widespread radicalization among his fellow British Muslim youths, saying that the psychology behind why people do such things still baffles him. He says that he just hopes all the people of the world could be more compassionate and care for each other more.
[Featured Image by JStone/Shutterstock]