AceShowbiz - Following Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction recently, thousands of Directioners still support the former member of the group. After comedian Bill Maher likened the singer to Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the fans tweeted their outrage and launched petition demanding the comedian to apologize for the "racist" joke.
With a hashtag #RespectForZayn, one angry fan who goes by Rania Styles wrote on Twitter, "Bill Maher, Shut up and don't call Zayn a terrorist cause you're just jealous of him #RespectForZayn."
Another added, "There's a fine line between calling it a joke and disrespecting someone on the basis of religion. And they call us immature." Another one tweeted, "Dear Bill Maher We wanted to destroy your career but then we realized that we can destroy something that doesn't exist."
Along with a reminder that Malik had personally donated a huge amount of money to charity, another wrote, "It's disgusting that bill maher could compare Zayn, the person that has saved millions of people, to a terrorist #RespectForZayn."
In addition to taking to Twitter, fans forced Maher to apologize by signing a change.org petition. The petition has so far garnered more than 1,600 signatures. "Bill Maher publicly not only insulted but also discriminated against Zayn Malik with an islamophobic terrorist joke," so read the message on the website. "Bill Maher and whoever wrote the script, need to be severely disciplined and at least apologize to show that this type of behaviour is never ok."
During "Real Time with Bill Maher" show, Maher likened Zayn Malik to Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He posted a side-by-side photo of Malik and Tsarnaev and joked that the singer and the terrorist shared similar hairstyles and dark features.
"Just tell me two things, Zayn. Which one in the band were you? And where were you during the Boston Marathon?" the TV show host made fun of Malik.