Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Rihanna sparks outrage with Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque photoshoot in United Arab Emirates

Flashback ... Rihanna causes a storm with topless shoot in North Down field
Rihanna is used to causing controversy with her racy music videos, but even dressed head-to-toe in a hooded black jumpsuit she has managed to provoke outrage. Picture: Instagram/Rihanna
Rihanna is used to causing controversy with her racy music videos, but even dressed head-to-toe in a hooded black jumpsuit she has managed to provoke outrage. Picture: Instagram/Rihanna
Rihanna in a field outside Bangor yesterday

Rihanna has posted images on her Instagram account showing her posing at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in UAE, where she is currently on tour.

Despite a very conscious effort to tone down her usual attention-grabbing-garb, she is seen sporting crimson lipstick and wearing dark red fingernails while adopting a series of trademark sultry, pouting poses that some have deemed "disrespectful" for a place of worship.

Her followers on Twitter couldn't decide whether to condemn the pictures or enjoy them.

“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.

Another person 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, known to her fans as RiRi, has already hit difficulties on the South African leg of the tour after fans complained about her lacklustre performance and alleged lip-synching.

Earlier this year the erstwhile saucy Queen of Pop, Madonna, was also criticised for adopting Muslim clothing after being pictured wearing a chainmail mask resembling a niqab.

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You can communicate effectively about controversial topics like religion, politics and education. When you talk, people listen. Take this opportunity to lobby for changes to an outmoded institution. Making resources more readily available to the public will be a great use of your time. You're tired of seeing only the most privileged members of the community thrive. Promoting a more democratic approach will cause your stature to rise. Don't be surprised if a group asks you to run for office.More