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Rihanna told to leave Abu Dhabi mosque over 'improper' photo shoot

A statement from Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque said the singer compromised the 'sanctity of the site' by posing for photographs

Daisy Wyatt
Monday 21 October 2013 16:25 BST

Wearing a headscarf and with her body almost fully covered, Rihanna portrayed herself as a bad girl gone good this weekend.

But it has emerged that the pop star was asked to leave Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque after posing for photographs.

Mosque officials said they asked the pop star to leave the compound after she turned her visit into a photo shoot opportunity, which was considered to be at odds with the sanctity of the site.

Although Rihanna dressed conservatively in a head-to-toe black jumpsuit with her hair covered, the photographs were said to have been taken in an area normally off limits to visitors.

Click here or on 'view gallery' to see more of Rihanna's 'improper' photo shoot

The statement from the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, published today in local Abu Dhabi newspapers, did not mention Rihanna by name but instead alluded to a "singer".

It said: "In the event of behaviour 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 civilisational and tolerant attributes of Islam.

"Here, the Centre refers to a recent incident, involving a singer who came for a private visit to the mosque, at a gate that is not reserved for visitors, without prior coordination with the Centre's management and without identifying herself."

Rihana poses outside the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi (@badgirlriri)

The mosque, which is the largest in the country and can hold more than 40,000 people, is a major tourist site in the United Arab Emirates capital.

Rihanna caused controversy yesterday by posting numerous pictures of herself to Instagram outside the mosque wearing bright red lipstick, red nail varnish and a over-sized gold jewellery.

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Her look divided fans as they tried to 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, who was in UAE as part of her "Diamonds" world tour, has not yet publicly responded to the statement made by staff at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

One of the many photographs Rihanna uploaded to Instagram (@badgirlriri)

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