Lebanon's Ice Bucket Challenge: Burn Islamic State Flag

#BurnISISFlagChallenge goes viral after three youths post video of flag burning in Beirut; but Lebanese justice minister accuses fire-bugs of sacrilege.

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Haaretz
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Burning Islamic State flag.
Burning Islamic State flag.Credit: Twitter
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Haaretz

Lebanon's social media is aflutter by its own version of the Ice Bucket Challenge, as young Lebanese are posting pictures and videos of themselves burning the flag of the Islamic State under the hashtag #BurnISISFlagChallenge.

The new phenomenon was sparked when three young men staged a flag burning in a Beirut square in protest of the alleged beheading of a Lebanese officer at the Muslim group's hands. The youths posted a video of the flag-burning online and encouraged others to follow suit, Mother Jones reported.

Though many have since taken up the cause, the design of the Islamic State flag has raised concerns Lebanon's Justice Minister and others that burning it is sacrilegious and an affront to Islam, as it is emblazoned with the religion's holy tenet "there is no god by Allah and Mohammed is his prophet" in Arabic.

Minister Ashraf Rifi went as far as to demand the "sternest punishment" for creators of the original video, who are "stirring up sectarian conflicts," an act illegal in Lebanon, Asharq-al-Awsat reported.

But other politicians rallied for the youth's support, one of which even offered his services as an attorney should they be brought to trial.

A member of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc in Lebanon, Nabil Naqoula, slammed the minister's response to the flag-burning, saying the Islamic State's flag "does not represent Islam in the slightest."

Scroll down to view some fire-bugs and would-be firefighters:

Lebanese youths in Beirut burn the ISIS flag pic.twitter.com/7a8gTOHVFG

The Jewish Press » » Burn Your ISIS Flag Today [video] #BurnISISFlagChallenge #isis #Israel http://t.co/IeR0LbUK33 pic.twitter.com/DULQDOkz8O

#BurnISISFlagChallenge It's got Allah & Muhammad written on it. I'm against them but burn a flag with Allah written, I wouldn't suggest that

Is #BurnISISFlagChallenge #Lebanon's new trend an act against #IS or #Islam itself? #justwondering

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