TORONTO – Zayn Malik of the British pop group One Direction sparked a firestorm late Sunday when he tweeted “#FreePalestine” to his 13 million followers.
By early Monday, the 21-year-old’s message had been retweeted more than 150,000 times.
Malik has been getting both kudos and criticism for his position.
Malik, who was raised in a Muslim household, is not the first pop star to weigh in on the conflict.
Rihanna tweeted “#FreePalestine” but deleted it only minutes later. She later tweeted: “Let’s pray for peace and a swift end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict! Is there any hope?”
On July 18, Selena Gomez posted a message on Instagram that read “It’s About Humanity. Pray for Gaza” but a day later added: “And of course to be clear, I am not picking any sides. I am praying for peace and humanity for all!”
Here’s a sample of the reactions Malik got to his tweet: