Pop superstar Rihanna was asked to leave the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi after being accused of posing for “indecent pictures”.
The singer – who was in the UAE capital on Saturday to perform a concert – posted a number of pictures on her Instagram account, showing herself in various poses at the mosque courtyard. She was dressed in an all black outfit, and in one picture is seeing lying down in the courtyard.
The Grand Mosque – the biggest in the UAE – said in a statement* that “the singer entered the mosque in a personal capacity and without prior co-ordination. She was requested to leave after making indecent pictures which did not match the sacred status of the mosque.”
The statement added: “The singer did not present herself to the people in charge and entered through a gate not designated for visitors. She left before entering the mosque itself after she was requested to leave.”
The Grand Mosque is a popular tourist attraction that is open to non-muslims, however all visitors are asked to respect religious and cultural sensitivities.
On Saturday night, thousands of fans saw Rihanna perform at the du Arena, in the latest leg of her world tour.
The 25-year old is currently on her 'Diamonds' world tour, which has been plagued by controversy. Earlier in the tour an online backlash erupted when she posed in Thailand with an illegal street vendor holding an endangered primate and attended a sex club in Phuket.
* Statement translated from Arabic