Students in an organization at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, burned a homemade Islamic State group flag Thursday. The flag burning was organized by the Young Americans for Liberty chapter at the university in an effort to unify students in opposition to ISIS, KOMU-TV8 reported.

"We figured that symbolically burning a flag has been used repeatedly against United States," said the organization's president Ian Paris, KOMU-TV8 reported. "We think it's about time that has been turned around and used to express our disdain."

The demonstration took place on campus at the historic MU columns, and was expected to include "a moment of silence for the estimated 250,000 plus murdered by ISIS, followed by brief speeches and will conclude with the burning of the ISIS flag," according to a statement. The organization obtained an "open flame permit," and the flag burning is protected under the First Amendment. 





Paris said he thinks it's important to bring awareness to the rising power of the Islamic State group in the Middle East, and that he had reached out to several student organizations but was not sure how many would show up. The organization is not being Islamophobic, according to Paris, and it doesn't think ISIS is representative of Islam. However, numerous student organizations, including the Muslim Student Organization, said they would not be participating in the flag burning demonstration. 

"We are an organization that doesn't stand for violence in any way," said Zakaria El-Tayash, president of the Muslim Student Organization at MU, KOMU-TV8 news reported. "Their message from what I understand is good. Their intentions may be good. I just don't believe in the way that they are approaching the situation." 

Under the Campus Freedom Restoration Act, all outdoor areas on public university campuses in Missouri are traditional public forums where free speech is protected.