Pop singer Rihanna set aside her provocative attire over the weekend while visiting a mosque in Abu Dhabi, but it wasn’t enough to stop an avalanche of religious-based anger directed at the singer.
Rihanna posed for pictures around the mosque’s grounds while wearing a hijab but she was ordered to leave by the mosque authorities. The singer posted the photos on her Instagram site, sparking a crush of comments on both Arab media outlets and social media sites.
A message issued by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center following the incident stated that the American singer had entered the site as a private visitor, without prior coordination, and was asked to leave after she posed for a photo shoot that was incompatible with the mosque’s holy nature. The message stressed that the mosque is open to visitors of all nationalities, who come singly or as part of a group to appreciate the unique treasures of Islamic art and architecture that can be viewed there; however, the center management acts to ensure that visitors do not engage in behaviors unsuitable to the holy nature of the site, such as taking unsuitable pictures or striking inappropriate poses….
The Arab press reported savage criticism of Rihanna voiced by Emirati singer Ahlam on her Twitter account, in which she accused Rihanna of defiling the mosque. In one tweet she addressed Rihanna as follows: “I wish you had broken your legs and were unable to enter the mosque.” In another she wrote: “…This matter is prohibited, Rihanna. You ugly thing.
Ahlam later deleted the tweets in question but added a new message calling Rihanna an “infidel.”