Popstar Rihanna was asked to leave an Abu Dhabi mosque because she didn’t have permission for a photoshoot, according to reports.
Staff at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque say they asked the singer to leave the compound after her actions were considered to be at odds with the ‘sanctity’ of the site.
At the the weekend the 25-year-old was seen dressed from head-to-toe in a hooded black jumpsuit as part of a photoshoot.
She is known for wearing skin-revealing outfits so the photoshoot was deemed conservative for the Bajan singer, although she made sure she had bright red lipstick and large gold accessories.
But today it emerged that the Rhianna and her team was not given permission to take photos at the mosque, the main place of worship for Friday gathering and Eid prayers.
The mosque, which is the largest in the UAE and can hold more than 40,000 people, released a statement, and although it does not name Rhianna, it refers to a ‘recent incident, involving a singer.’
In a statement the mosque said: ‘In the event of behaviour that violates the moral codes of access to the mosque, or other visit regulations – such as taking inappropriate pictures, posing in ways that are improper in the context of sacred place, talking loudly, or eating – the violators are directed in a polite manner that reflects the civilisational and tolerant attributes of Islam. ‘Here, the Centre refers to a recent incident, involving a singer who came for a private visit to the mosque, at a gate that is not reserved for visitors, without prior coordination with the Centre’s management and without identifying herself,’ it said reported The National.
It said the singer ‘left without entering the mosque, after being asked to do so, due to the fact that she had taken some pictures that do not conform with the conditions and regulations put in place by the Centre’s management to regulate visits in a way that takes the status and sanctity of the mosque into consideration.’
Her followers on Twitter had a mixed opinion of the photos which were posted on Instagram.
‘Rihanna may look gorgeous and all but she’s covering her head out of fashion not out of respect for the mosque,’ wrote one user.
One Twitter user, @NNTSHA_NAT, wrote: ‘I love Rihanna but then posing so seductively in front of the mosque is so disrespectful.’
Another tweeter, @Ahmedcarter, wrote: ‘Rihanna pics at Sheikh Zayed mosque are disrespectful to the place of worship.’
@BinttAlthee tweeted: ‘Rihanna modelling in the Sheikh Zayed mosque is just plain wrong. Who let her in?’
But another person @mila_iggy responded to the images writing: ‘I don’t see how Rihanna posing adjacent to a mosque in Abu Dhabi is disrespectful.
‘If anything she’s showing respect by supporting the hijab.’
Rihanna hasn’t publicly responded to the actions by staff at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – it is a major tourist site in the United Arab Emirates’ capital.
Earlier this year Madonna, was criticised for adopting Muslim clothing after being pictured wearing a chainmail mask resembling a niqab.
Rihanna is currently on her Diamonds world tour, having just arrived in the country after playing shows in South Africa.
Hopefully concertgoers will be happier than her fans in Johannesburg, who were reportedly outraged at her performance on Sunday night.
Fans complained that her alleged lip-synching and lackluster performance wasn’t worth the high price of the concert ticket, according to RadarOnline.
Johannesburg’s main newspaper The Star ran Ri-Ri Rip-Off on its front page on Monday, calling her performance ‘below-par’.
‘It was obvious,’ the paper’s staff photographer Sharon Seretlo said of RiRi’s purported lip-synching. ‘You know when someone is lip-synching. I was in the Golden Circle [close to the stage]. I could see it.’
‘I don’t feel the ticket prices were fair considering the level of performance,’ fan Nicole Contini added.