Last week, in the wake of the Paris attacks, a French Muslim took to the streets in the city while blindfolded and asked citizens to trust him and give him a hug.
It was beautiful idea, aiming to break down the walls of prejudice and show that the majority of people don’t buy into the ignorance and hate being spread by some. The city showed its solidarity with heaps of strangers queueing up to show their love.
Now, inspired by the idea, British Muslim Nubaid Haroon decided to recreate the idea on the streets on London to see what the response would be.
The video-maker and presenter wrote on a sign: “I am Muslim. I want to spread love & peace! Hug me?” and stood in Oxford Circus in the UK capital to see how people would react.
And the response was overwhelmingly positive – by the end of the video, Nubaid says he is genuinely touched by the response of the British public, noting that passers-by are not only hugging him, but saying really nice things too.
Speaking to UNILAD about his inspiration behind the video, Nubaid said:
Ultimately, we all can sit and moan at the TV but as people we all have a say, we all have power to an extent to change things. I wanted to go out, feel like I could make a difference to just one person’s life, just to make other people smile and make their day. There’s too much negativity everywhere around us, too many people are corrupted and want to corrupt others. A hug can change anyone’s perspective and that’s why I wanted to inspire other people to spread love. In the end, the only answer to violence is love.
Once again, it shows that unity is the best weapon we have against terror and we aren’t about to let fear divide us and make us turn on the wrong people.
As Nubaid added:
Whatever you believe is going on, it doesn’t matter, we have to stick together. Don’t let Islamophobia confuse you, don’t let ISIS betray you, don’t let media hide things from you.