Muslim teens around the world are struggling with extremism and its resultant Islamophobia. And a teen writer believes that Zayn Malik can help these teens with integrating into the society. And thus, maybe he can save them from disintegration and extremism.
Muslim teens cannot be changed by political leaders and community leaders, but their music icon can really bring the change. This is is what Urmee Khan believes. She observes in her article in The Guardian, that Zayn is the saviour of Muslim teens across the world. Urmee Khan who is herself a Muslim teen thinks that Malik can bring a change as he has a huge fan following worldwide, especially among the teens.
According to Khan, Muslim teenagers don’t have icons. In an environment which is demotivating and negative, Zayn is one of the best examples of people who succeed from rags to riches. He is the successful boy next door who inspires teens to work hard for success.
Malik was born in Bradford into a Muslim family in 1993. His father, Yaser Malik is a British Pakistani while his mother, Tricia Brannan Malik is English and part Irish. Malik’s mother Trisha, worked in a kitchen of a local school as a halal chef. Zayn’s working class background was a boon for him as he had seen his parents work hard to integrate.
Malik was only 17 when he competed in The X Factor. He teamed up with four other teens to become the group act “One Direction” which eventually became one of the most popular boy band in Music history, as stated in the bio website.
Malik, according to Khan is conscientious youth and he is ambassador to several charities. He is “a directioner” and his annual eid mubrak ( a traditional Muslim greeting used especially in festivals of Eid ul-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr) message was retweeted and shared millions of times. Sometimes he also voices his opinions publicly without thinking about criticism that they would generate. In 2014, during the Israel siege on Gaza, Malik had to face criticism for posting #FreePalestine. But many of the Muslim teens cheered him for it.
According to Urmee Khan, Malik is a survivor. He had problems with his band but he confidently started his solo career. And even with all these, he has still managed to leave a mark.
He is one of the world’s biggest pop icons. Alexendra Svokos in her article in Elite Daily stated that he is the inspiration for millions of Muslim teens to struggle and fight to achieve their dreams.
Pop stars have known to use their platform in the past to highlight issues which they think as important. Miley Cirus has done a lot for LGBTs. Svokos believes that Malik can also use his platform and stand up to Islamophobia.
But Malik has not been forthcoming these days. He told Fader, “I would never be trying to influence anything or try to stamp myself as a religious statement or portrayal of anything. I am me. I’m just doing me.”