Muslim Radicals Torch Buddhist Temples Because of a Facebook Photo

It’s a day after International Blasphemy Rights Day, and over the weekend, we learned just how dangerous it can be in certain parts of the world when you criticize the Muslim faith — even accidentally.

Here was the scene in Bangladesh:

One of the burned down temples in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh (Reuters)

Thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims… set fires in at least 10 Buddhist temples and 40 homes near the southern border with Myanmar, authorities said Sunday.

Buddhists?! What did Buddhists do?! What caused all the violence?

Get this: A “local Buddhist boy” accidentally got tagged on a Facebook photo of a burned copy of the Koran.


Ok, I don’t know what the actual photo was, but no photo on Facebook justifies anything close to this level of rage.

The newspaper reported that soon after the violence broke out, the boy’s Facebook account was closed and police escorted him and his mother to safety.

This is how bad things are. Anything will set off radical Muslims.

At one point, you actually had to outright insult Muhammad or the entire religion to start riots like this. Now, we’re down to YouTube videos and Facebook photos.

Give it another week and the same Muslims will start rioting when someone plays the letter “Q” in Scrabble or draws a crescent and star anywhere near each other… because somehow, doing those things without honoring Islam is a violation of some rule that they made up in their heads.

If you didn’t do it yesterday, celebrate IBRD today and criticize the religion of your choice.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Aimeejoe

    Wow!  This is out of control.  We cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated but if it were my home that was burned I am not sure I would have the heart to criticize.  This is bullying on a global scale that really frightens me.

  • ortcutt

    People really need to keep burning Qurans and showing pictures of Muhammed until this sh*t stops.  If Muslims aren’t willing to live in the modern world, then they are a danger to society that will need to be controlled by force.  It’s their choice though. 

  • Dave Hodgkinson

    I smell something deeper at work, the recent outbreaks of violence have been just a little too well organised.

  • A3Kr0n

     And across the border it’s Buddhist’s against Muslims
    Why is the world ignoring Myanmar’s Rohingya?”

  • A3Kr0n

    And Discus demands I allow all 12 trackers on this site to track me? FUCK THAT!

  • Edgar

    Then again, Islam is not barbaric. It’s a religion of peace and love. Right?

  • Matthew Baker

    For a religion that claims not to practice  Idolatry and Bibliolatry. They sure do seem to practice  a lot of Idolatry and Bibliolatry. 

  • Persephone

     On my browser, Firefox on OSX, Ghostery is reporting 11 trackers on this page. I have 10 of them disabled, leaving only Disqus enabled. It appears that I can read and post comments in this configuration.

  • Troels Jakobsen

    Well, it’s peaceful as long as there are no threats to it. Like other religions. Or other kinds of Islam. Or atheists. Or uppity womenfolk who don’t obey.

  • A3Kr0n

    Is this discus hoo ha nonsense working yet (this is only a test)

  • Guest


  • amycas

    We had a blasphemous movie night on Saturday in honor of Blasphemy Day. I’d hate the think what would happen if somebody recorded us laughing at the movies and our subsequent conversations…

  • Ernest Valdemar

    Muslims will start rioting when someone … draws a crescent and star anywhere near each other

    Let’s hope they don’t find out about South Carolina, then.

  • Octoberfurst

     This is truly insane.  Ten Buddhist temples and 40 homes destroyed just because one Buddhist boy was accidently tagged in a phote of a burning Koran? This is beyond outrageous.  Moderate Muslims really have to start standing up to the fanatics  in their ranks because I for one am sick and tired of this “You’ve offended Islam” bullshit.  Screw Islam! Screw Mohammed!

  • Edgar

     I know. I was a rethorical question.

  • Annie

    And how many of these thousands of vandals will be charged for their destructive crimes, I wonder?

    On another note, if you hear of any efforts to collect funds to help the Buddhists rebuild, I would be interested in being alerted.

  • Marco Conti

    Here is a idea: spend less energy protesting the prophet cartoons and more helping your own kind.

  • Guest

    You have to read the book to find out…

  • Georgina

     “Peace” in the original Arabic means the same as “Rest in Peace” in the modern English.
    There is no peace in life – unless one is muslim.
    Therefore, the Religion of Peace literally means: peace is reserved for us alone.

    Rather like a Religion of Diamonds refusing anyone else the right to own diamonds. 

  • NickDB

     Stuff that, backing down to bullies does not stop the bullying. Give them a bloody nose then go have a milk shake with them afterwards.

  • NickDB

     Because that’s not over a picture.

  • Nazani14

    I tend to think much of the destruction is less about piety and more about freeing up desirable real estate and the opportunity to loot.  The poorer the society, the less the aggressors have to lose, the easier it is to provoke scapegoating and violence.  This was true in 1930s Germany and Rwanda, why wouldn’t it be true in Bangladesh?

  • MadReasonable

    The image of a Koran on a CD made me wonder just what about burning a Koran was blasphemous.  Is it the destruction of “sacred” information?  Would that make deleting any digital file containing the text of the Koran blasphemous also?
    There may also be problems with simply moving a file.  In computer file systems, moving a file from one disk to another actually creates a copy on the target disk and then deletes the file on the source disk.  Wouldn’t this be blasphemy if the file being moved contained the Koran?

  • Joymony

    Burning a Koran in a CD or having a book of Koran or having a pdf file of Koran is not sin or something. the local boy innocence, because he was tagged in facebook by someone from foreign country. so you guys using facebook and you may better know how to tag a people. anyone can tag anyone in the facebook. so in this sense that boy was   innocent. 
    while that local Buddhist boy sign in in Facebook one Muslim guy saw it and inform others without knowing what really was there, and without 2 hours more than two hundred people  gathered there. 
     Bangladeshi Muslim people, most of them are illiterate, and when you may say something about their religion they will be very forceful and angry with it. so some groups people who used their blind faith on religion. some local political leader used it and lead the gathering to such violence activities. it is said within 4 hours more than 4000 people gathered there and start violence. it was a planed violence, they have brought fuel, petrol, some hand made rocks(which is usually not available in that area and some buses were hijacked by the Muslim people). one of the shipping company Islamic labors also  join there. most of the mod people were student of Madrasa (Islamic education center in the mosque) and their age was 15-25  from various places.  some of the local people said that most of them were stranger and some local people helps them to identify the Buddhist temples and houses to burn and destroy. some local people said some rhohinga people also were there in the mod. 
    some political parties in the Bangladesh is trying to exit the present government as a result they made a issue and start such violence activities.  Local MP, Police and other government people did not do anything just keep silent. so there is question why they do like this and who was the man told them to do like this????  

    be intellectualistic and try to think freely without being bound to any religious faith. now still those people doing violence in various parts of the bangladesh. and why they have changed the OS of the police station of Ramu so suddenly??? 
    so just think it??? no religion like to do such violence and like love, peace, compassion and harmony. 

    hope all these things will be settled down in nice way within right justice.

  • Joymony

    read those links and you may understand what is really going on there,,,,,,

    ‎1.CNN World News: NEWS:;_ylt=A2KLOzFWdWlQ2WEAqbfQtDMD3.JAPANTODAY:
    7.THE HINDU:
    13.TIMES LIVE:
    16: NOWPUBLIC:
    17. KXXV.COM: 

  • atheist

    much expected reaction from a “headless chicken religious” followers. everyday they defy and blaspheme other religious God’s  5 times a day  by giving sermons using a public address system which says “there is no God but only Allah”.and every body has to listen to their sermon. how dual and fake statements.