Paris Hilton irks Muslims with store in Mecca

The American socialite and hotel heiress whose Twitter is awash with optimistic, life-affirming tidbits such as, “Smile, because you’re beautiful... Stand strong, because haters can’t bring you down” and “I love black and white photographs. They are always so timeless” — has sparked controversy in the Middle East.

Posting a picture of her new accessories store in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca, Paris caused a backlash of abuse from an insulted Islamic community, with some claiming it as an “affront” to the “principal sanctuary” of the religion.

Always in the news: Hotel heiress Paris Hilton launching her bag and shoes brand in Mumbai last year. She received a backlash from the Islamic community regarding her store in Mecca Mall. File Pic

Her bubbly tweet, “Loving my beautiful new store that just opened at Mecca Mall in Saudi Arabia!” — was met with disgruntled comments such as: “Saudi claim there are other ways to allow for pilgrims, and if religiosity is of such importance, why is Paris Hilton being allowed a store in Mecca?”

The first comment was merely the understated, yet powerful “R u kidding?” Others latched on to starlet’s previous sex tape scandal, noting: “How can someone who made such a video open a store in the holy city next to the Grand Mosque?” And a further added: “It is not acceptable to have such a woman open her store here.”

But the 31-year-old remained undeterred by the comments and tweeted: “This is the fifth store in Saudi Arabia, and store number 42 in total! So proud to keep growing my brand!”

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