Hundreds of offended Muslims in southeast Bangladesh burned about a hundred Buddhist homes and ransacked and torched 10 Buddhist temples Sunday.
The raging Muslims became violent after alleging a Buddhist man insulted Islam on his Facebook page, according to an LA Times report.
The protest in predominantly Muslim Bangladesh began Saturday and escalated on Sunday resulting in large roving gangs of Muslims assaulting the Buddhist residences and temples.
The Muslim violence broke out in the area of Cox’s Bazar about 200 miles from the capital of Dhaka. The Muslims say they were offended because a Buddhist man’s Facebook page showed a burned copy of the Koran, before they headed to several Buddhist villages in the area to burn out the Buddhists.
Whilst there have been sporadic clashes between the majority Muslim population and Hindus, historically Muslims seldom attack Buddhists in the country. Buddhists represent about 1% of Bangladesh’s 150 million people.
“This comes as a real surprise, and I feel sadness that this happened,” said Manzoor Hasan, advisor 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.”
According to Bangladesh's English-language Daily Star newspaper the man who allegedly posted the offensive image on Facebook and his mother had to be escorted to safety. The newspaper did not say where the scores of families whose homes were torched by angry Muslims will live.