Zayn Malik has been bombarded with death threats after the One Direction singer took to Twitter and posted #FreePalestine.
Pledging his support for the #FreePalestine social media campaign, Malik, who was raised a Muslim, received hundreds of messages of complaints and even threats to his life after tweeting the controversial hashtag.
After first tweeting the protest post, according to the Daily Mail, Malik’s tweet received over 140,000 retweets and 138,000 favorites in the amount of time it takes someone to say, “That’s a trend.”
Yet by it’s very nature, Zayn Malik’s tweet to his 13 million followers on the emotionally-charged conflict in Gaza was always going to have severe consequences.
Alongside messages telling Malik to “kill himself” and one that even read: “Let me kill you.” The majority of responses came from heartbroken Zayn Malik fans.
“It broke me that one of my idols wants me to die.”
Another former Malik fan said:
“I was a fan of you….. but that was before.”
And yet another One Direction fan tweeted:
“I’m for Israel, I’m a big fan of u and 1D. The tweet hurt me really bad and u don’t live in Gaza or Israel so don’t judge.”
However, another Zayn Malik follower appeared to believe the infamous tweet just confirmed their worst suspicions:
“Should have know you’re stupid enough to tweet something like that, you should be ashamed.”
Zayn’s tweet appears at a time when it’s just been revealed that Malik’s record label boss Simon Cowell donated a significant sum to the Israel Defence Forces at a fundraiser last year. Cowell also faced a Twitter backlash from Palestinian supporters.
Pop starlet Rihanna, who also posted the same tweet in support of Palestine a few weeks ago, removed the message after eight minutes due to an overwhelming barrage of complaints and replaced it with the more balanced: “Let’s pray for peace and a swift end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict! Is there any hope?”
Once upon a time long before Zayn Malik or the rest of One Direction were born, part and parcel of being a pop star was to take a political stance on just about everything under the sun.
Think John Lennon returning his MBE to the Queen as a protest against the Vietnam war. Think Morrissey perpetually reminding us that “Meat is murder,” and think about the time Prince became a symbol and told everyone he was a “slave.”
In an age where commercial interests dictate and govern an “artist’s” career every step of the way, it’s rare for a modern pop star to even have an opinion on whether they prefer Taco Bell or McDonald’s.
So no matter if you agree or disagree with Zayn Malik’s tweet, it’s refreshing to see a world-famous boy band member share an opinion on world affairs. Sadly, after being bombarded with death threats, it’s unlikely Zayn Malik will be so quick to share his views in the future.
What do you think? Has Zayn Malik got a right to tweet what’s on his mind or should he have just kept the hell out of it?