International

In Bangladesh, Photo Of Burned Qur'an Sparks Attacks Against Buddhists

There are some sad images coming out of Bangladesh today:

  • A statue of Lord Buddha is left standing amidst the torched ruins of the Lal Ching Buddhist temple at Ramu, Bangladesh. Thousands of rioters torched Buddhist temples and homes in southeastern Bangladesh Sunday over a photo posted on Facebook deemed offensive to Islam, in a rare attack against the community.
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    A statue of Lord Buddha is left standing amidst the torched ruins of the Lal Ching Buddhist temple at Ramu, Bangladesh. Thousands of rioters torched Buddhist temples and homes in southeastern Bangladesh Sunday over a photo posted on Facebook deemed offensive to Islam, in a rare attack against the community.
    AFP/Getty Images
  • The remains of burned religious books at a Buddhist temple which was torched in an overnight weekend attack in Ramu in the coastal district of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
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    The remains of burned religious books at a Buddhist temple which was torched in an overnight weekend attack in Ramu in the coastal district of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
    A.M.Ahad/AP
  • A Bangladeshi Buddhist monk checks the remains of burned religious books at a Buddhist temple which was torched in an overnight weekend attack in Ramu in the coastal district of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on Monday.
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    A Bangladeshi Buddhist monk checks the remains of burned religious books at a Buddhist temple which was torched in an overnight weekend attack in Ramu in the coastal district of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on Monday.
    A.M.Ahad/AP
  • Damaged statues at a Buddhist temple that was torched in Ramu in the coastal district of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
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    Damaged statues at a Buddhist temple that was torched in Ramu in the coastal district of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
    AP

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They show the charred remains of a Buddhist temple that was set ablaze by demonstrators protesting an image of a burned Qur'an posted on Facebook. As the AP reports, the government accused radical Islamic groups for the attack and they say 10 Buddhist temples and 40 homes were attacked over the weekend.

The AP adds:

"The Buddhists started returning home Monday amid heightened security and more than 160 arrests.

"Mahmud Ali, a local reporter in southern Ramu where the violence occurred, said some local villagers blamed minority Rohingya Muslims for the violence, but the [Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir] made no comment on this allegation.

"'We will find the culprits as soon as possible,' he said during the visit when he talked to affected Buddhists.

"In a statement Monday, Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia of the BNP accused the government administration of failing to protect the minority Buddhists. She said she feared that the government may use the violence as an excuse to crack down on the opposition."

The Jakarta Post reports that the riots were sparked when a local Buddhist was blamed for spreading the image on the social network. The man, who spoke to the Post, said he was simply tagged in the image of the burned Qur'an.

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