US television celebrity Kim Kardashian brought out screaming
fans, angry Muslim hardliners and police throwing stun
grenades when she visited Bahrain to launch a milkshake
franchise, witnesses said.
About 100 Sunni Salafists demonstrated with banners outside
The Walk Bahrain, an upmarket mall in the capital Manama,
after some MPs tried to block the visit over what they called
her "bad reputation", according to a local newspaper.
Thousands of fans, who had paid up to 500 Bahraini dinars
($US1,360) a ticket, broke into hysterical screams as the
32-year-old celebrity launched the Millions of Milkshakes
franchise inside the mall.
Witnesses said police dispersed the demonstrators with stun
grenades as the inauguration proceeded inside. There were no
reports of casualties.
Kardashian stirred controversy even before she arrived in
Bahrain from Kuwait, where she opened another store last
Hardline Sunni Muslim MPs presented a motion to parliament
calling her "an actress with an extremely bad reputation",
according to Bahrain's English language Gulf Daily News.
The assembly did not vote on the motion, the newspaper said.
Many Kardashian fans tweeted their displeasure, saying the
"MPs should focus their time on solving key political,
economic and social issues", the newspaper reported.
Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based, is trying to
overcome nearly two years of unrest among its majority
Shi'ite Muslims demanding political reforms and equality with
the Sunni Muslims who rule the kingdom.