In the image uploaded to social media last week, Selena was photographed inside Abu Dhabi’s Grand Mosque with an exposed ankle.
Some shocked fans and onlookers felt the pose by Gomez was clearly meant to be provocative.
— India Today Showbiz (@Showbiz_IT) January 2, 2015
Since the picture hit the internet, Selena Gomez has been on the receiving end of a great deal of criticism for being disrespectful.
According to TMZ, Selena Gomez deleted the offensive images on Thursday. Whether or not an apology to angry Muslim fans will soon follow is unknown.
Although Selena Gomez was singled out in the media for her behavior, the 22-year-old is not the only celebrity said to have acted inappropriately at the religious site that day.
Gomez is seen laughing and smiling in an image taken with several others, including Kendall Jenner and Cody Simpson.
The group’s behavior at the mosque was deemed offensive by mosque officials, who stated that their actions violated the rules of the establishment.
Persons who visit the mosque are forbidden from expressing “intimate behaviors.” This includes laughing or smiling, holding hands, and—in the case of women specifically—revealing more than the face, hands, and feet while inside the mosque.
In this regard, it’s easy to argue that Selena Gomez broke more rules than the rest and possibly did so on purpose.
Even though Gomez has since deleted the image, it’s possible she may not be welcome in more religiously devout areas of the Islamic world because of the perception that she doesn’t respect Muslims or their beliefs.
Many Western, non-Muslim individuals are applauding Selena’s actions, and some are claiming that Muslims who are offended by photos of Selena need to “get over” their archaic position about women and their bodies.
However, it’s worth noting that a lot of the backlash isn’t coming from Muslim men, but young Muslim women instead.
Selena Gomez is disgusting. she walks into a mosque & acts like a tourist who is exploring around Eifel tower. respect cultures you idiot
— Benish Shah (@90shadesofHalal) January 4, 2015
first selena gomez appropriates saris and bindis and now she’s disrespecting a sacred mosque by lifting up her abaya for the gram smh
— tasmi (@tasmiimlak) December 29, 2014
selena gomez is actually so dumb, how’re you posing in a mosque like that, would she do that in a church nah
— ZAINAB (@elgxrt) December 29, 2014
While some may choose to applaud Selena Gomez for her daring behavior, clearly Gomez is regretting her actions. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have deleted the images.
But if Selena was hoping that doing so would stop people from talking about her visit, then the gesture might have been too little, too late.
Should Selena Gomez have to apologize for taking the controversial photos or was her “bold” behavior a social statement that should be applauded?
[Image Credit: Selena Gomez Official YouTube]