LGBTQ Pride 2016 celebrations are taking place across America on June 25, and Zayn Malik was thanked by #Zquad fans on Twitter for being Muslim and supporting the LGBTQ community, but also for supporting tougher gun control laws.
Zayn Malik and other celebrities are taking a stand after the Orlando nightclub shootings on the weekend of June 12 to support the LGBTQ community, but also the lives of all musicians, music lovers and fans.
The way Zayn Malik and others are trying to make a difference with the #DisarmHate hashtag is by asking Congress to follow through with the gun control laws a majority of Americans want.
Celebrity musicians like Zayn Malik, individual members of My Morning Jacket, Beck, Iggy Pop, Cyndi Lauper, Barbra Streisand, and others were united on a Billboard open letter to Congress, written in part because the Orlando shootings on the weekend of June 12 also included musician Christina Grimmie.
Zayn Malik likely felt shaken up by the death of Christina Grimmie because she was gunned down while performing at the Plaza Live nightclub in Orlando (the same weekend as the Pulse Nightclub shootings) and One Direction has definitely had some scary incidents with security, according to a 2014 report from Evoke.
The sad reality is that celebrities deal with the threat of gun violence on a regular basis, and the death of Christina Grimmie and the Pulse Nightclub shootings likely confirm their fears that something needs to be done about gun laws in America.
In the open letter to Congress, Billboard editors wrote that part of the reason they created the open letter was because “[b]oth tragedies occurred where musicians and music fans gathered.” They enlisted “leading gun-violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety” to help them draft the letter that Zayn Malik and others signed.
Adding to this, at the very bottom of the signatures, Yoko Ono’s name is next to Zayn Malik’s. Zayn’s younger fans may not know that Yoko Ono’s husband, John Lennon of the Beatles (an original boy band), was gunned down in Manhattan by Mark Chapman in 1980.
In addition to looking out for gun laws that might affect himself, the open letter from Billboard that Zayn Malik signed was also in support of the LGBTQ community.
In the recent past, Zayn Malik has stood up for LGBTQ fans by saying he is welcoming of the crushes of all his fans, including those of gay Zayn fans. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Zayn Malik has expressed tolerance as a person from a Muslim background, and that solidarity is important in light of the Orlando nightclub shootings.
Adding to this, Zayn Malik has signed his name along with about 200 celebrities in an open letter that is specifically making a point to ask Congress to vote for more gun control laws. Their main references for “Orlando” are the murder of Christina Grimmie and the Pulse Orlando nightclub shootings that took place on their LGBTQ Latinx Night.
This show of support by Zayn Malik for the LGBTQ community and gun control is important to many of his fans because he does come from a Muslim background, and they have taken the time to thank him on Twitter.
For example, one Zayn Malik fan on Twitter re-posted the list of signatures about the gun control issue and writes on June 23 “@billboard Respect For @zaynmalik for speaking against it as a Muslim superstar.”
A One Direction LGBTQ fan account on Twitter, Rainbow Direction, also thanks Zayn Malik and writes, “We thank @zaynmalik for his support to the #LGBTQ + community. It’s important to fans of his art and to the Muslim faith. #RainbowDirection.”
As for gun control laws, it is no surprise that Zayn Malik and almost 200 other celebrities signed this open letter to Congress, according to research by Katie Couric.
According to Gothamist, Katie Couric was recently highlighted on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on May 24, stating that her research for her new documentary Under The Gun showed “after Sandy Hook… 90 percent of the people in [America] favored universal background checks and yet Congress could get nothing passed.”
Following this line of thinking, in the open letter posted on Billboard on June 23, Zayn Malik and others signed their names to the following.
“The one thing that connects the recent tragedies in Orlando is that it is far too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on guns. We call on Congress to do more to prevent the gun violence… including: Require a background check for every gun sale[.] Block suspected terrorists from buying guns.”
The real question is whether or not Zayn Malik’s tactics have worked. A day after Zayn Malik signed his name to the Billboard open letter, Reuters stated the following.
“Another attempt at gun control faltered in the U.S. Congress on Thursday despite outrage at the Orlando massacre, as a proposed ban on firearms sales to people being monitored for links to terrorism barely avoided being killed in the Senate.”
NY Times also commented on the gun control issue, and a headlining story on June 24 read, “Gun control effort in Congress isn’t dead, but prospects aren’t good.”
Despite the efforts of Zayn Malik and others, Congress “again voted not to act,” and the efforts for gun control contained in the “bipartisan proposal written by Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine” fell short of the 60 required minimum votes (out of 100) by six votes.
In other words, Zayn Malik may not be finished with supporting gun control activism.
[Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]