Extremist Muslim rioters torched Buddhist communities in southeastern Bangladesh Sunday over an “offensive” photo on Facebook.
The rioting was ignited over a photo uploaded to the social networking site by a Buddhist man from the area that allegedly defamed the Qur'an, according to district administrator Joinul Bari.
Some 25,000 Muslims stormed a Buddhist hamlet in Ramu, torching centuries-old temples.
Once ablaze, the mob swept into villages outside the town, chanting “Allah is Great!,” leaving a trail of devastating in its wake. One witness told a reporter that 11 wooden temples were looted and destroyed, including two that were 300 years old. Shops were similarly attacked. In all, 15 Buddhist villages were attacked, and more than 100 homes were looted and damaged.
Buddhists comprise less than one percent of the population in 90-percent Muslim Bangladesh, where the rest of the populace is Hindu. Most Buddhists live close to the border near the Buddhist-majority nation of Myanmar. Public gatherings have been banned to prevent further violence, Bari told reporters.
Extremist Muslim violence worldwide resulted in some 40 deaths barely a month ago when an obscure, amateur anti-Islam video produced in the United States raised the ire of followers after a trailer of the film was translated into Arabic and posted to the Internet. The trailer, which was broadcast on Egyptian television, led to worldwide violence. It was also used as the excuse for an Al Qaeda-linked terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left a U.S. Ambassador and three American diplomats dead.