Burn ISIS Flag Challenge Going Viral In Middle East As Anger Toward Militant Group Grows

The Burn ISIS Flag Challenge is going viral in the Middle East as anger toward the radical militant group grows.

The challenge stems from a video made by three teens in Lebanon, who posted footage of themselves burning the black flag associated with the militant group in Beirut’s Sassine Square.

Others soon joined in, posting pictures of themselves burning the ISIS flag. The participants have taken a page from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in which people dump buckets of freezing cold water on their head and then nominate others to do the same, all the while making donations to the ALS Foundation.

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For the Burn ISIS Flag Challenge, participants are also nominating their friends. One of the fist copycats from Lebanon nominated “the whole world” to burn the ISIS flag.

After taking over large stretches of Syria and Iraq, the group now calling itself Islamic State has come up against a worldwide coalition of enemies. The United States has led a series of more than 100 air strikes against ISIS targets, helping Kurdish fighters to push the group back in northern Iraq. Other countries have offered support, including Germany, which sent a number of weapons to the Kurdish militia fighting against ISIS.

Despite a near complete lack of support for ISIS, not everyone is happy with the Burn ISIS Flag Challenges. Ashraf Rifi, minister of justice in Lebanon, said the youths who burned the flag in Sassine Square are insulting Islam because the flag featured the words: “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his Prophet.”

Others are finding unique ways to insult ISIS and desecrate the flag. In Egypt, social activist Aliaa Magda Elmahdy create a video showing herself and another person defecating and menstruating on an Islamic State flag while completely naked in a protest against ISIS.

Like the Burn ISIS Flag Challenge, this has led to some protests because of the Muslim insignia on the flags.