This past week Rihanna was asked to leave Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque complex when she attempted to set up and pose for an unauthorized photo shoot at the major site of worship. She was dressed in a tight black jumpsuit and a head scarf with bright red lipstick. Not only did she pose for pictures, she also rolled around on the floor causing a spectacle at the mosque.
When authorities asked her to leave she did so with no fuss, but also with no apologies... she also immediately posted the photos to instagram... so much for cultural understanding. The mosque released a statement which reads that her behavior, "violates the moral codes of access to the mosque, or other visit regulations - such as taking inappropriate pictures, posing in ways that are improper in the context of sacred place, talking loudly, or eating - the violators are directed in a polite manner that reflects the civilization and tolerant attributes of Islam."
Ignorance is one thing, and though there can be little excuse for ignorance, willful disrespect for religious or cultural practices is intolerable... especially when one is a visitor to these types of places. It is this type of incident that causes conflict, strife, and hatred.
It does not matter if one is religious or not, it does not matter if one is Muslim or not... you don't have to be a member of a certain group, race, or ethnicity to show respect to that group.