Online debate after Rihanna snaps in Abu Dhabi go viral
Pop princess Rihanna's poses for a photoshoot at Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque have sparked an outcry on social media, with users blasting her as "disrespectful".
Bajan beauty Rihanna was covered up in black for the photoshoot on Saturday before her gig at the du Arena, then posted the snaps on Instagram. Rihanna, 25, captioned one of the shots: “Fashion killaz in Abu Dhabi.” For one posed lying down in the baking sun, Rihanna wrote: “No tan lines.”
Hasan Kato wrote on the 7DAYSUAE facebook page that it was “disrespect” of the “highest order to Allah’s house”, before suggesting the singer should have stayed in “her night club.”
Vivian Antony added: “I wish she took random pictures of her touring ‘walking through or admiring’ the mosque. Posing, or should I say photo shoot, seems a little bit off.”
However, 7DAYS columnist and culture expert Nasif Kayed from the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Understanding said: “In all of the pics she is dressed from head to toe.
“What is offensive about them? I’m sure that she was given the permission to be photographed in the manner in which she was. While each and all has their own opinion, in my opinion nothing in the photos is offensive.”
However, cultural expert Ali Al Saloom, the founder of AskAli.com, added: “I feel disappointed that she shared photos on Instagram that are inappropriate to the values of our religion and our Arab tradition, which values modesty and respect to the most important venue that has our father of the nation HH Sheikh Zayed’s graveyard. A mosque is not to be seen as a fun place, nor is it a place for filming fashion.”
However, other readers disagreed. Srijita Moo Sreenivasan posted on 7DAYSUAE facebook page: “What exactly is everyone harping on about? Ironically, Rihanna has covered her head better than some of the women I have seen around here and she is wearing loose-fitting clothes.”
Aside from the controversy, the singing superstar shone bright during her one-and-a-half hour capital concert. In sweltering conditions of more than 30C, sizzling Rihanna admitted to the adoring Abu Dhabi audience not long into her set: “It’s really hot - but that’s when I love to party most.”
Nine-year-old super-fan Anastasia Wilson said: “I begged my dad to get tickets.” The British-Ukrainian girl, from Deira International School, added: “I loved it. She was special to hear.”