Former Disney star Selena Gomez is back in the spotlight and this time, her on-again, off-again boyfriend Justin Beiber has no part to play.
The 22-year-old singer sparked outrage after she posted a photo of her at the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi on her Instagram account. The famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is very particular about the dress code, and while "The Heart Wants What it Wants" singer was covered in the traditional burqa, a "revealing" pose showed a bit of her ankle.
The point of insisting on the ankle-length cloak is to hide womanly body parts, including the ankle, claim those who were offended by her photo. The "provocative" pose did not help matters either.
Alaa Almitwally commented on the photo: "Disrespectful! It's a religious place, not a place to have fun in. So disappointed." Ayisha Elturk, who also shared Almitwally's views posted, "If their intent was to learn about Islam, they wouldn't be posing like they were standing outside an amusement park. I like Selena Gomez, but to have her do something like this makes me quit being a fan."
Meanwhile, many of her fans are taking her side in the matter and calling the Islamic backlash a bit too harsh.
Leena_Alh said, "Look Selena Gomez only showed her ankle and foot. There are girls who don't wear scarves and enter the mosque". Singerr15 posted, "Why are people calling Selena Gomez disrespectful, just because her ankle was showing? Don't you show your ankles? You show more than that! "
Gomez has removed the picture following the brouhaha.
— Lisa Daftari (@LisaDaftari) January 2, 2015
Another picture posted by Gomez, in which she poses with reality star Kendall Jenner, singer Cody Simpson, Gigi Hadid, Shay Mitchell and other, too was branded "disrespectful to Islam". The Grand mosque has a strict ban on all "intimate behavior," including holding hands and kissing.
Gigi Hadid, model and TV personality who was with Gomez on the UAE tour has apologised for their behaviour: "We were with many people from the mosque and were always checking to make sure we were being respectful. Please trust that... we understand the importance of the mosque to many, including myself coming from a Muslim father."
Selena Gomez has now posted a video of her eating food with her hands, just like people in Middle East do, traditionally, perhaps in the hope of winning back her Islamic fans.