Instead of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Lebanese citizens started the Burn ISIS Flag Challenge after the terrorist group beheaded two Lebanese soldiers. It went viral on social media with pictures and videos from people around the world.
The first video was published on YouTube under an account called BURN ISIS. The owner challenged people to burn the ISIS flag in 24 hours. He said ISIS does not represent Muslims or Islam.
People responded in numbers. People on Twitter use the #BurnISISFlagChallenge and #BurnISIS hashtags. There is Twitter account specifically for this challenge at @BURNISIS.
— Sgt. VRWC (@estate_fifth) September 6, 2014
— Reine (@ReineWW) September 4, 2014
— LibertasIntel (@LibertasIntel) September 8, 2014
— Joe Fer (@JoeFer1371) September 7, 2014
— Candour (@i_want_yellow) September 6, 2014
— Darknight (@Darknight420) September 7, 2014
In August, three boys burned the ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra flags after the terrorist groups abducted and murdered soldiers. The incident occurred in Ashrafieh, a Christian neighborhood. An few days after the burnings, ISIS spray-painted “ISIS is Coming” on churches in Tripoli, Lebanon’s second-largest city. Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi criticized their actions and “demanded the teens be prosecuted on the grounds that their actions were offensive to Muslims.” The flag has the name ISIS on it, but also symbols of Islam and the shahada “There is no god but God, Mohommad is the messenger of God.” Rifi wants to protect the symbols.
“ISIS has stolen the flag of 1.3 billion Muslims,” he said. “We will protect our national unity by law. We prevented reactions and our duty is to protect religious symbols.”
However, the public did not appreciate Rifi’s comments. Member of Parliament (MP) Ibrahim Kanaan said he “would represent the young men in court once he prosecutor took action.” Rifi said state prosecutor Samir Hammoud could prosecute the men because the burning “desecrated religious symbols and could, he argued, incite sectarian strife – both punishable under Lebanese law.”
Photo Credit: Twitter