WATCH: Canadian youth who have produced videos with the aim of affecting racial prejudices talk to Global News about their experience.
TORONTO – Would you hug a random stranger on the street? And what if they were Muslim? If you live in Toronto, chances are you’d probably say yes to both.
That was the premise behind a social experiment recorded on video tackling Islamophobia which has since gone viral after being posted on YouTube on Jan. 31.
The video, created by 24-year-old Assma Galuta, shows a blindfolded man standing silently in downtown Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square with his arms outstretched.
Written on two signs placed on the ground next to him were, “I am a Muslim. I am labelled as a terrorist. I trust you. Do you trust me? Give me a hug.”
What follows is a series of open arms and hugs from people on the street.
The video has since garnered close to 800,000 views in just two weeks after being uploaded online.
“The response was touching and inspiring. We wish to break down barriers and spread awareness about Islamophobia,” said the description posted on the videos YouTube page.
The YouTube post follows a similar social experiment conducted by a group of young filmmakers from the Greater Toronto Area who set out to expose prejudice against Muslims following last fall’s attack in Ottawa that resulted in the death of Canadian soldier Nathan Cirillo.
What they ended up filming was Canadian tolerance in action.
The video involved an actor asking a Muslim man to take the next bus because of what he’s wearing, which was quickly followed by a number of people objecting to the racism and coming to his defence.
The creators of the video told Global News they didn’t encounter a single negative comment towards the actor dressed in Muslim attire during the entire filming process.
VIDEO: Anti-Muslim social experiment viral video shows Canadians tolerance