A planned visit by pop star Rihanna to the African nation of Senegal has whipped up controversy for perhaps the most incongruous of reasons—religious groups have said she isn’t welcome because she’s a member of the Illuminati.
The Bajan singer is scheduled to touch down in the Senegalese capital Dakar Friday to attend a conference organized by the Global Partnership for Education. Also attending the summit will be French President Emmanuel Macron and his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall.
However, a coalition of more than 30 religious groups in Senegal called “No to Freemasonry and Homosexuality” has said Rihanna’s visit is a thinly veiled attempt to spread Satanism and advance the goals of the Illuminati, the French language magazine Jeune Afrique reported.
The Illuminati is an organization of global elites that conspiracy theorists claim rule the world in secret. Rihanna has in the past played up to conspiracy theorists who have said she uses symbols and signs associated with the mythical group. In a video for her 2010 single S&M the singer appeared holding a newspaper bearing the headline “Princess of the Illuminati.”
“Rihanna does not even hide it. She is part of the Illuminati, which is a branch of Freemasonry,” Sheikh Oumar Diagne, spokesman for the coalition of religious groups said. “We will demonstrate from the moment she leaves the plane,” he warned. “And if necessary we will go before the Assembly, the Ministry of Interior or the presidency,” Diagne added. Religious groups in Senegal have demonized homosexuals and Freemasons in the country, calling for attacks against them. A scheduled gathering of the Freemasons, which coincided with Rihanna’s visit to Dakar, was recently cancelled following the intervention of No to Freemasonry and Homosexuality.