Bill Maher causes outrage among Zayn fans with terrorist jibe

A screen shot from Twitter showing one fan’s reaction to Bill Maher’s comments comparing Zayn Malik to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man accused of being the Boston Marathon bomber.
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Fans of former One Direction singer Zayn Malik have taken to Twitter in outrage after comedian Bill Maher made a comparison between Malik and the Boston Marathon bomber.

In an online only segment for his TV show, Real Time with Bill Maher, the host says: "Just tell me two things, Zayn. Which one in the band were you, and where were you during the Boston Marathon?" As Maher speaks, an image of Malik appears on the screen alongside accused Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

A hashtag reacting to the jibe soon started to appear, with Twitter users demanding #RespectForZayn. The singer's fans gave examples of the charity work he has done and criticised Maher for what they said was using Malik's religion to make a joke.

Here are some examples of the outraged tweets, for more, see to #RespectForZayn.

@1DsUniverse: The fact that calling Zayn a terrorist was allowed on TV just shows how ignorant humanity really is #RespectForZayn

@ThisIsUs0: This Is So Disrespectful & So Stupid. I Don't Think Bill Realizes What He's Getting Himself Into.#RespectForZayn!

@pinkfloydharold: terrorist jokes aren't funny and being a Muslim doesn't make you a terrorist #RespectForZayn

The spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations told People magazine that Maher had used the chance to promote Islamophobia. “It shows that he’s really not missing an opportunity to engage in his Islamophobic themes,” Hooper told people, “he serves to legitimize Islamophobic in the left, which is one of the unfortunate byproducts of his intolerance of Islam and Muslims.”

In October 2014, Ben Affleck appeared on Maher's show and ended up losing his temper with the host during a discussion of fanatical Islam in a video that went viral. See what happened here.

Malik quit One Direction on March 25 saying he wanted “to be a normal 22-year-old”. He had earlier pulled out of One Direction’s world tour, which went on without him in Dubai on Saturday, April 4.