Kim Kardashian’s mere presence in Bahrain was enough to send the Middle Eastern country into a celebrity-crazed chaos as fans and protesters alike flocked to the streets.
The reality TV star visited the Persian Gulf island country to help launch a restaurant franchise that specializes in milkshakes and was greeted by thousands of screaming fans who paid upwards of $1,200 just for the sight of her walking through a shopping mall. Outside, an estimated 100 Sunni Salafists demonstrated with signs and chanted "Allahu Akbar" (“God is great”), according to Reuters. Protesters, who also yelled slurs at Kardashian and called her a “porn star,” were unhappy about her visit because of her reputation for empty-head materialism and promiscuity.
“Syria receives martyrs while Bahrain receives whores,” one banner read, according to CNN.
Bahrain is still under the monarchy's brutal crackdown on opposition, with an estimated 84 people being killed in the past year. Still, Kardashian insisted she’d be using her celebrity to bring awareness to important concerns in the region, evidently referring to the new “Millions of Milkshakes” store in an upscale shopping center.
Kardashian rose to fame after a sex tape leaked of her with R&B singer Ray J and her popularity has surged since the E! network started broadcasting “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” chronicling the mindless exploits of Kim and her family on a weekly basis.
Military police dispersed the demonstrators with stun grenades, although there were no reported casualties. There was no word if Kardashian was even aware of what was going on in the streets around her.
She did take to her Twitter account to say: “Thanks to Sheikh Khalifa for your amazing hospitality. I’m in love with the kingdom of Bahrain.” The message was retweeted by the foreign minister, who has been criticized for violating human rights and specifically targeting journalists.
Fans of Kardashian will remember when the star sparked a controversy by tweeting support for both Israel and Palestine during the Gaza conflict but later deleted the messages with an apology to anyone who had been offended.
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