October is apparently a really bad month for Western celebrities involving themselves with insensitive photoshoots at historic sites. Just two weeks after Miss Universe shot some kind of misguided “footwear commercial” at the Taj Mahal without any permits, Rihanna is in hot water for an ad hoc fashion shoot at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
The pop star is in the United Arab Emirates for her tour, and showed up to the Mosque over the weekend, covered head-to-toe in a fashionable black jumpsuit accessorized with red lipstick and statement jewelry. It is still quite surprising anyone recognized her, given that she managed to leave the denim thongs, penis purses and middle fingers in her hotel room for the afternoon.
The Mosque released an official statement, which does not name Rihanna, but it’s pretty easy to figure out who they’re talking about:
“In the event of behavior 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 civilizational and tolerant attributes of Islam.
It goes on to say that the unnamed singer ”left without entering the mosque, after being asked to do so,” because “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.” Fair!
While this should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who has ever seen Rihanna’s Instagram, her fans were divided on the issue, with some Twitter followers arguing that everything was fine because she’d bothered to cover herself.
You can see more of the ill-advised shoot over at Instagram, but here’s another for now: