Another American pop icon has gone and done it again, upsetting the sensitivities of Emiratis about their splendid mosque Shaikh Zayid mosque in Abu Dhabi. The mosque or masjid is also the final resting place of the first leader of the United Arab Emirates, Shaikh Zayid bin al Nahyan the beloved leader of that country, which makes it even more special to the people of the UAE. However, in an attempt to be a country of tolerance and acceptance the government of the UAE liberally allows people to visit the mosque; however, it seems too many of them of a western mentality take things a little too far according to some Emiratis. The latest one to raise their ire is Selena Gomez who raised her garments to expose her covered leg and uncovered ankle.
To almost everyone in the west that kind of exposure is no big deal, but it wasn’t done in the West it was done in the UAE where the standard of behavior and conduct is different. We’ve written about this problem before but perhaps it’s time to take things up a notch with regards to what Emiratis should do which is don’t allow tourism at any of their masajid. (plural of mosque) Non-Muslims should be allowed to visit them, during the times of prayer and properly escorted, but they should not be the “destination” of people who want to ogle and have their pictures taken there. Mosques are places of worship and people should attend them with that solemnity in mind; if they are not worshippers but want to visit them they should be accompanied at all times by people who work for the government who are there to insure the visitors follow UAE protocol until they leave the premises. You’ve heard it from me Emiratis; don’t complain when the next pop star comes and disrespects your way of life at the Shaikh Zayed mosque.