Inside the Middle East
June 10, 2012
Posted: 1315 GMT

US pop icon Madonna performs on stage during her first ever concert in the Gulf as part of her MDNA world tour at Abu Dhabi's Yas Island Stadium on June 3, 2012. An estimated 25,000 fans cheered and screamed as the Material Girl finally appeared on stage more than two hours late, wearing a skin-tight black outfit from her "Girl Gone Wild" album. (MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/GettyImages)

More than 20,000 fans waited in the warm weather for almost two hours before the 'Queen of Pop' Madonna kicked off her concert in Abu Dhabi last week, but her controversial performance is still echoing throughout the region today.

Coming from Tel Aviv in Israel, where she debuted her world tour last week, Madonna opened her Abu Dhabi gig with a series of religious, sexual and violent acts that left fans in both countries both mesmerized and shocked.

Some Madonna fans in the UAE, according to this columnist from Gulf Newspaper, were upset at the pop star for not abiding by their relatively conservative society.

At least one Twitter user noted a contradiction:

Madonna opened her first act  in Abu Dhabi with religious chants, and featured a huge cross on stage which was later cut in half.  In a later scene, Madonna carried an AK-47 and used it – mockingly – to kill a few of the dancers on stage.  She then proceeded to strip her clothes, albeit partially, leaving some fans with their jaws dropped in surprise.

It wasn't just in the UAE.

In Israel, a monitor behind Madonna's performance displayed an image of a female French politician with a swastika on her forehead.  According to Haaretz Newspaper, the French politician is threatening to sue Madonna if the pop icon uses the image in any upcoming concerts in France.

Here's some more reaction on Twitter from Madonna's Mideast performances:

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Filed under: Abu Dhabi •Culture •Israel •UAE

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alex   June 10th, 2012 2:44 pm ET

Concert started on 5/31 in Israel... she did 2 dates in Abu Dhabi 3 days later...why didn't anyone complain then? Why is this (sensational) news a week after the fact? Is this CNN or radaronline?

jmgonzalesme   June 10th, 2012 2:46 pm ET

still at the top of her game ... putting on the best shows and concerts ... great work Madge! :D

Zacaroni, Israel   June 11th, 2012 1:52 pm ET

Madonna doesn't arrive in different places to abide by local laws.
She comes there to bring new laws to the people.

His Fashion Blog   June 11th, 2012 11:26 pm ET

Meh. People are really overreacting.

As a local and Abu Dhabi resident, this concert was definitely the best gig ever in the UAE. She might have offended "some" of the audience, but you shouldn't have attended a Madonna's concert in the first place if you don't know her and her music/background.

Other than that, even though it was really hot, and we were pissed off by the fact that her Madgesty appeared really late, but the second we heard the drums and the music from Girl Gone Wild, we forgot all about it.

Onikami   June 17th, 2012 3:18 am ET

madonna gets critisized in the usa. is this really worthy of a story even? ooohhh, aaahhh madonnadoes something outragous, so 80's!

Sara   June 19th, 2012 10:56 pm ET

And they are shocked because??????

Desert Prince 07   June 22nd, 2012 1:50 pm ET

She performed as told by her higher directors – the illuminati – the masons and Her other demon worshiping fellows
The aim was to influence the people with poison and Hedin demonic rituals within her songs /lyrics
And she did it well as always! And thou I did like her songs during the 80’s and 90’s but now since I know her back ground of being the slave of cults and demons “ I hate the old hag “ more than you think
Excuse me of I offended anyone on this page /fans but this is my point of view

wboustany   June 23rd, 2012 7:42 pm ET

When the music is trash, the act becomes trash too. don't tell me there is some intellectual artistic message justification for all this. She is Borat on steroids.

wboustany   June 23rd, 2012 7:44 pm ET

music is trash so she does borat on steroids to keep her paycheck going

ibra   June 24th, 2012 3:27 pm ET

i call it nudity campaign, let her dare visit iran

ZeroLimit   June 25th, 2012 1:53 pm ET

I always wondered why they cal The Persian Gulf – "The Gulf" when you Arabs decided to become weternised and let Western culture to invade your Persian Gulf states, who do u complain about Maddona. you go overseas and do all the dirty trickes to have a good time. you shoud complain to your leaders who bend against the western powers, so why not complain to the. BY the way I always detest CNN to name the PERSIAN GULF as the Gulf. CNN should know that people deserve the right information on names and locations, or maybe CNN is broadcasting lies as always.

SAS   June 30th, 2012 12:27 am ET

I liked the response of Middle Easterners to Madonna – if she offends you, criticise her and point out her misbehaviour.

But don't go on the rampage and use violence and threats when someone offends you.   July 13th, 2012 1:39 am ET

Why'd they let her in the UAE if they were going to complain? Obviously the government didn't seem to care too, too much.

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