Were Zayn Malik’s Muslim Beliefs Attacked By ‘The Daily Show’?

Many are tweeting with the hashtag #dailyshowgonetoofar today, after the comedy/news show aired a clip in which they listed boy band One Direction as a terrorist organization, prompting complaints that it was a reference to member Zayn Malik, who is a Muslim. It’s sparked a debate over the show’s intentions, and a demand for an apology.

The clip being called offensive aired on Thursday night’s episode of The Daily Show, as well as being posted to the site’s YouTube channel and website. It’s said to be targeting One Direction member Zayn Malik, most recently in Inquisitr headlines when he helped a fellow band member through a health crisis.

In the clip, shown above, Jessica Williams makes jokes about terrorism, discussing various made-up groups with joke names such as “Al Qua Ill Ya All” (said quickly, sounds like “I’ll kill you all”) and “Al-Fa’aq-U-Up.” She then says there’s a new terrorist group that includes members from ISIS, Al Qaeda, and, among others, One Direction. She doesn’t name Zayn Malik specifically, but the mention of “a member from One Direction” has many believing that she’s referring specifically to Malik.

According to the One Direction Wiki, Zayn Malik is of English and Pakistani descent, and Malik and his family are Muslims. Despite this, some fans are saying Malik is private about his religion, and that this clip is not only racist, but invades Malik’s privacy. None of the main parties in the incident, Zayn Malik, The Daily Show, or Jessica Williams, have responded to the furor on their official Twitter accounts. Fans are still speaking out, though, calling for an apology.

Of course, One Direction isn’t the first boy band to be targeted in this way. Calling popular music a threat to society is as old as popular music, and doing it as a joke must be nearly as old. Still, other Daily Show viewers are pointing out that this isn’t just about Zayn Malik. Whether the Daily Show writers were even aware Malik was a Muslim, the clip is decried as racist for its use of certain racial or religious stereotypes.

Whether or not Zayn Malik’s religious background was intended to be the target of this clip, it’s clear that viewers find the whole thing offensive and unacceptable.

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