Canadians stand up to Islamophobe in social experiment that ends with punch
Brett Tarver, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, October 29, 2014 12:15PM EDT
A video attracting a lot of attention online proves that multiculturalism packs a punch in Canada, when the filmmaker’s "social experiment" demonstrates how some Canadians will leap to the defence of a Muslim person singled out for abuse, even in the wake of recent attacks by self-radicalized Islamists.
Omar Albach --- an 18-year-old student at York University --- and two friends --- tested Canada’s racial tolerance by staging a charade involving an actor dressed head-to-toe in traditional Islamic garb and another Caucasian actor who accosts him in public.
They recorded what transpired on a video posted to YouTube, ‘Canadians react to Ottawa shooting racism,’ that has attracted a lot of attention since it was posted on Monday, garnering more than 400,000 views as of Wednesday morning.
The "racist" character in the video asks the "Muslim" character to step out of a line of people waiting for a bus, accusing him of being a terrorist threat. None of the bystanders in the video support the "Islamophobic" actor. One man emphatically rejects the diatribe, pointing out that Canadians can’t blame all Muslims for the violent action of fanatics.
"You know what? You can’t stereotype and judge people by their clothes," the man says in the video.
Another man gets so aggravated that he punches the heckling actor in the face, giving him a bloody nose.
Albach, who was born in Canada of Palestinian descent says the purpose of the video was to “to see if people feel safe around Muslims or people who look like Muslims.”
The video was created in Hamilton, Ont. --- the home town of murdered Canadian soldier Cpl. Nathan Cirillo --- to gauge if Canadian Islamophobia was on the rise following the shooting rampage by lone wolf gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau at the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill last week.
"I wanted to see how that would change the views of Canadians," Albach told CTV News Channel in an interview Wednesday.
"They all responded perfectly, they all stood up for the Muslim man," he said.
Albach, who is Muslim, feels encouraged by the outcome of his video.
"I’ve learned that Canada is very tolerant --- it’s proven that Canadians have become more tolerant and knowledgeable about who is a terrorist (and who is not) --- and just because there is one radicalized person in a sect or religion does not make every person in that religion a radicalized person," he told CTV News Channel.
This is not Albach’s first viral video – he put together another one this summer dubbed “Hug a Terrorist”