A video experiment has shown most urban Canadians will leap to the defence of a Muslim person singled out for abuse, even in the wake of the country’s recent Islamist terror attack.
One angry resident of Hamilton, Ontario, punched a man playing the part of an Islamophobe having a go at a man wearing Muslim-style clothing at a bus stop.
He was left bleeding from his nose for the part he played in what the YouTube filmmakers called a ‘social experiment’
This is what happens to racists in Ontario: After playing the part of an Islamophobe for a YouTube video ‘social experiment’ this man was left with a bloody nose after he was punched in the face by an angry Canadian
‘This is based on the events that happened in Ottawa,’ said YouTube filmmaker Omar Albach, referring to recent bloodshed in the Canadian capital.
‘We’re going to see if people feel safe to be around Muslims or people that look like Muslims.’
Within seconds of the filmmakers beginning their first charade – which involved a one telling another one wearing Muslim-style clothes he can’t board a bus – a middle-aged man objects to the apparent racism.
‘You know what? You can’t stereotype and judge people by their clothes,’ the casually dressed, silver-haired white man objects. ‘Or their nationalities or anything else, you know what I mean?’
‘You can’t judge and stereotype people by their clothes’: The scene as a middle-aged man in blue jeans and leather jacket, centre, defends the man in Muslim dress after he is accosted by the man on the right
The filmmakers repeat their play in several different locations, to get a range of responses. Although the footage is edited and not continuous, it seems they found difficulty finding anyone to go along with the racist behaviour.
Asked to think of the recent shooting of Corporal Nathan Cirillo at Canada’s national war memorial, a woman responds: ‘It was awful and tragic, but I don’t think that’s any reason to persecute some just because of what they’re wearing.
No time for racism: The man was just one of many who stood up for the man dressed as a Muslim
The video, published yesterday, has already attracted nearly 200,000 views and a storm of comment. The location was poignant, Hamilton is the hometown of Corporal Cirillo and it was today the emotional scene of his funeral procession, led by his five-year-old son Marco.
Burnishing Canada’s credentials as a tolerant, multicultural nation, the video shows Canadians of a range of ethnicities and walks of life objecting to vocal racism and Islamophobia.
Finally, a hot-headed man in a baseball cap decides he’s had enough of the haranguing being dished out to the Muslim man.
He sneaks up next to the ‘racist’ and sucker punches him in the face.
Speaking to camera, the man who played the role of the racist concluded: ‘So err.. the social experiment had a negative ending to it but, you know what? It’s positive because he stood up for him and I appreciate that.