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‘I trust you if you trust me,’ Majdi Hareri tells Montrealers

  • Majdi Hareri has a simple message for Montrealers: "I trust you, if you trust me."
WATCH ABOVE: Syrian-Canadian Majdi Hareri stood outside McGill University to ask Montrealers to trust him - because he says the Muslim community is grieving for Paris too. Global's Sarah Volstad reports.

MONTREAL – Standing outside McGill’s Roddick gates Friday is a man, blindfolded and not moving a muscle.

That is, until someone comes to give him a hug or play a round of basketball with him.

Majdi Hareri is a Syrian-Canadian – a Muslim who came to Montreal when he was just 5-years-old.

He is next to a sign that reads: “I’m a Muslim, Syrian and Canadian, but I’m told that I’m a terrorist.”

“I trust you if you trust me.”

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The sign goes on to say: “Hug me, sing with me, dance with me, take a selfie with me, b-ball with me.”

WATCH: Syrian-Canadian Majdi Hareri stood outside McGill University to ask Montrealers to trust him – because he says the Muslim community is grieving for Paris too.

In the wake of the backlash against Muslim Canadians following the Paris attacks, he said he simply wanted to reignite his trust in the community.

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“I really felt we have to do something because we’re aching as the Muslim community since the events on Friday,” Hareri told Global News.

“We’re aching and we want to open up to the community and display our trust. We trust the Canadian community and they trust us as well.”

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He told Global News that when he heard about the attacks in Paris, he hoped it wouldn’t be tied to Muslims or Islam because he knew the backlash would be great.

READ MORE: After the Paris attacks, two friends stand in solidarity with their Muslim roommate

“We’re all traumatized by the events since Friday and we’re trying to find ways to console one another and show love for one another,” said Hareri.

“We are experiencing grief and sorrow.”

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Hareri told Global News he knows he’s not the first person to do something like this, but he was touched by the number of people who went up to hug him or dribble a basketball with him (yes, he was still wearing the blindfold).

WATCH: Friends stand in solidarity with Muslim roommmate

Hareri said that, though he has always felt stuck between identifying as a Syrian or a Canadian, he can now proudly say that he’s both.

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He’s heading to Toronto this weekend to perform the same experiment with a group of friends.

Hareri volunteers his time for the Syrian Kids Foundation; proceeds support a school in Turkey that over 2,000 refugee children attend.

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca