Rihanna sparked controversy once again when she posed seductively out front of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on Saturday wearing a black jumpsuit and headscarf for a photo-shoot with Steven Gomillion and Dennis Leupold of photography team Gomillion Leupold.
Although the mosque is a popular tourist attraction in Abu Dhabi and is open to non-Muslims, the body in charge asks that all visitors respect religious sensitivities. This means all women are expected to wear an abaya and shayla – the long cloak and headscarf Muslim women often wear.
Mixed reactions are flying all over the Internet, with Rihanna’s fans in the thick of it. A caption on one of the photos posted to the pop star’s Instagram (@badgalriri) has caused the most reaction from both sides. It is captioned “Bitch stole my look”, in quotes, as the she looks towards other women who are wearing traditional Muslim garb in the background.
A quick look at her Instagram account shows fans arguing whether the caption was directed to the women from Rihanna or if it is what the women are saying about Rihanna.
While many people stick up for the “Umbrella” singer’s photo shoot attire, and some even say they respect her even more for it, many others find it disrespectful. The National, a leading English-language media source in the Middle East, quoted numerous tweets saying so.
One from twitter user @BinttAlthee said, “Rihanna modeling in the Sheikh Zayed mosque is just plain wrong. Who let her in?”
Many fashion websites have taken a different approach altogether. Fashionandtravelsiren.com noted, “Accentuated with a statement necklace, Rihanna is fierce, even though she is only showing the least possible of skin…Glamorous red nails, bold lipstick, and embellished designer shoes completed RiRi’s outfit,” effectively disregarding the controversial aspect entirely.
As Al Arabiya noted, “Last month, the pop star outraged many of her followed [sic] after tweeting that she had attended a sex show in Thailand,” a further illustration of RiRi’s love for instigating controversy the world over.
In the U.S., Fox News has yet to weight in, but we can’t wait and see which outraged guest urges a boycott of the singer’s music, confusing her cultural tourism with a Homeland Security incident.
All of this comes during the last leg of Rihanna’s Diamonds World Tour, which concludes Nov. 15, at the New Orleans Arena.
For more entertainment news from the Middle East’s Al Arabiya channel via FilmOn, watch: