Rihanna went rogue: Abu Dhabi Sheikh says recent mosque photoshoot not sanctioned
Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre has issued a statement in Arabic regarding pop star Rihanna's recent photoshoot there when she toured the emirate over the weekend for a concert.
The statement said that 'the singer did not make arrangements with the mosque's management prior to her visit and had used an entrance that is not intended for visitors...'
They added that the singer stayed outside the mosque and was asked to leave 'once it became apparent that some of the photographs she took were not in compliance with the terms of the mosque.'
The following is the English translation of the statement:
'The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre wishes to emphasise that it is one of the main religious, cultural and civilizational monuments in the United Arab Emirates.
It has been seeking since its foundation to promote cultural exchanges with the people of other cultures and has become a prominent place on the map for religious tourism in the region.
Since opening officially in 2007, the Mosque has become a milestone in the country which meant a large number of worshippers and tourists visiting from within and outside the state.
As part of the cultural activities of the centre, it is open to visitors from different nationalities, whether they come in the form of collective formal delegations or in person, to get to know its collection of treasures of Islamic art and aesthetics of Islamic excellence architecture, as well as to participate in some activities, such as the "Spaces of Light" photography competition that attracts thousands of photographers every year from around the world, focusing on the spectacular visual aesthetics in the great architectural edifice .
But while the mosque allows visitors to tour and take photos, the management asks them to do so in a way that is appropriate, and does not disrespect the religious nature of the location including taking pictures in an inappropriate manner or sitting in positions not commensurable with the sanctity of the place, talking loudly or eating.
The Centre would like to point to a personal visit incident that was carried out by 'a prominent singer' to the mosque. The singer did not make arrangements with the mosque’s management prior to her visit and had used an entrance that is not intended for visitors.
Despite being directed to enter through the visitors' entrance to take a standard tour of the mosque, the singer stayed outside to take some photos. She was asked to leave once it became apparent that some of the photographs she took were not in compliance with the terms of the mosque.'