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.
- Israel prepares for possibility of local Islamic State cells
- Pro-Palestinian activist's 'Rubble Bucket Challenge' for Gaza goes viral
- Israelis take up the Ice Bucket Challenge - and some choose hummus instead
- Two Arab rights activists attacked in Brooklyn; suspect arrested
- Fighting Islamic State in cyberspace
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
#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