Published On: Mon, Oct 1st, 2012

Muslims in Bangladesh torch Buddhist temples in protest of ‘blasphemy’ to Muhammad

Thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims set fire to at least 10 Buddhist temples and 40 homes in anger over a Facebook photo of a burned Quran before authorities restored order.

Bangladesh map/CIA

The AP report detailed that the protest gained momentum late Saturday in the area of Cox’s Bazar about 200 miles from the capital of Dhaka when Muslims, claiming that a Facebook page showed a burned copy of the Koran, headed to several Buddhist villages in the area.

Although there have been periodic clashes between the majority Muslim population and Hindus, tension is relatively rare with Buddhists, who make up less than 1 percent of Bangladesh’s 150 million people.

Authorities said extra security forces were called in to restore order after the mob burned and vandalized more than 100 homes.

“We brought the situation under control before dawn and imposed restrictions on public gatherings,” Salim Mohammad Jahangir, Cox’s Bazar district police superintendent, told local media.

“This comes as a real surprise, and I feel sadness that this happened,” said Manzoor Hasan, adviser to the Institute of Governance Studies at Dhaka’s BRAC University. “Generally, not just with Buddhists, but the small Christian community and relatively larger Hindu community, as a society we’ve been tolerant and respectful of each other’s religions and ways of conducting ourselves.”

Many of the Muslims also mentioned the Muhammad video which has been blamed for other protests all over the world.

“Generally, there is extra sensitivity at this moment, not just in Bangladesh, but in other countries,” Hasan said. “We see people taking advantage of this, and there are copy-cat tendencies. The population as a whole needs to be far more vigilant in protecting minorities. … We all need to be a bit more careful and circumspect so we don’t incite sensitivities.”


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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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