Selena Gomez has sparked outrage, advertently or inadvertently, after posting a pic on her Instagram account of her visiting Abu Dhabi’s Grand Mosque and flashing just a tad too much flesh, in the form of her right ankle.
A second image, as reported by TMZ, showing Gomez and fellow musicians Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Cody Simpson, and Shay Mitchell smiling and striking poses has also been condemned by Muslim leaders and fans alike as being “disrespectful” to Islam.
Mosque visiting rules strictly ban all “intimate behavior,” including holding hands and kissing. Woman are also forced to wear skirts which are at least ankle-length.
And that’s where the issue came in, as you can see from the image above. Despite the fact that Selena Gomez was well covered up in a niqab-type black cloak, she stood in a slightly provocative pose for the picture, flashing her ankle.
Some Selena Gomez fans immediately took to social media to express their outrage at the pictures. One commenter, Alaa Almitwally, said the images were “Disrespectful! It’s a religion place not a place to have fun in, so disappointed.”
Meanwhile another upset Muslim, Ayisha Elturk, posted, “If their intent was to learn about Islam they wouldn’t be posing like they were standing outside and amusement park. I like Selena Gomez but to have her do something like this makes me no longer a fan.”
Nevertheless, not everyone was quite so upset by the images, as someone with the user name Lemouza commented, “They’re not disrespectful. Hundreds of thousand of people visit Sheikh Zayed’s mosque in Abu Dhabi. It’s a place of worship, yes I know, but God never forbade the entry of other religions into any mosque. So please respect the fact that they actually want to get to know Islam and its beauty.”
This isn’t the first time there has been controversy surrounding celebrities visiting the Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque. As the Daily Mail reports, Rihanna was thrown out of the Mosque after posing for pictures inside the compound.
In that case, staff ejected Rihanna after complaining she did not have permission to carry out a photoshoot while dressed head-to-toe in a black jumpsuit.