Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan has scrubbed clean two of her social media accounts and posted the message “Alaikum salam” on Instagram, triggering speculation that she has converted to Islam.
Lohan is no stranger to controversy – the star of The Parent Trap (1998) and Mean Girls (2004) has been in the news in recent years more for her legal problems and visits to rehab clinics.
In 2015, Lohan had faced a backlash in the US after she was photographed with a Quran in her hands on the streets of New York.
Over the past few days, the 30-year-old wiped out all posts on her Twitter and Instagram accounts, which have a combined total of near 15 million followers. On Instagram, her bio only bears the words “Alaikum salam”, which is the response to the traditional Arabic greeting of “As-salam alaikum” (Peace be unto you).
The post on Instagram led to a flurry of tweets from Muslims around the world, offering congratulations to Lohan even though there was no official word on whether she had converted to Islam.
In of her most recent posts on her Facebook page – an interview with CNN – Lohan talked of her visits to refugee camps in Turkey and how she was greeted in UAE, which is “going to be home”, and how “strong women” are appreciated in the emirate.
Lohan shifted to Dubai late last year and has said that she plans to spend this year volunteering at camps in Turkey for Syrian refugees and setting up her production company in the United Arab Emirates. Her management has said she is in “a period of renewal”.
She also told the media recently that she was “so excited for this new chapter in my life”.
Lohan first travelled to Dubai last November, where she spent time with her friend Karen Wazen Bakhazi and entrepreneur Joelle Mardinian. She has also travelled to Turkey and said that she is studying Arabic.
After facing criticism when she was photographed with the Quran in her hands, Lohan told a Turkish TV channel: “My very close friends, who have been there for me a lot, in London, are Saudi and they gave me the Quran and I brought it to New York because I was learning.”
She added, “It opened doors for me to experience spiritually, to find another true meaning. This is who I am.” She also said that if “Islam is something that I want to learn, this is my own will”.