Pop star Rihanna was asked to leave an Abu Dhabi mosque after she posed for a photoshoot without permission and was accused of behaving in a way "that is inconsistent with the sanctity of this religious place.”
Rihanna posed at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque wearing all black, with a hijab covering her hair, according to mosque guidelines.
The mosque published a statement Monday stating that not only was Rihanna in an area normally off-limits to visitors the photoshoot violated rules on the "status and sanctity of the mosque.”
“The Centre strives to ensure that visitors enter the mosque in a decent fashion, and refrain from behaving in any way that is inconsistent with the sanctity of this religious place,” the statement said. “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.”
“She was directed by visitor services to proceed to the visitors’ main gate and take the guided tour, according to procedure,” the statement added. "She 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.”
Rihanna has not publicy responded to the actions of the mosque’s staff.
She posted photos of the shoot to Instagram, and some of her fans said the singer went too far.
“I love Rihanna but then posing so seductively in front of the mosque is so disrespectful,” one fan tweeted.
“Rihanna pics at Sheikh Zayed mosque are disrespectful to the place of worship,” tweeted another.
Rihanna performed in Abu Dhabi on Saturday as part of her Diamonds world tour.