Blindfolded Muslim Man Asks For Hugs in Manchester. The Response is Overwhelming.

"I'm Muslim and I trust you. Do you trust me enough for a hug?"

In the aftermath of the deadly bombing last week in Manchester and the Islamophobic incidents that followed, Muslim video blogger Baktash Noori decided to make a grand, hopeful gesture: he stood on the street, blindfolded himself, and opened his arms wide so that strangers could huge him.

According to Mashable, Noori began the experiment on Manchester's busy Market Street with a blindfold over his eyes and sign at his feet that read, "I'm Muslim and I trust you. Do you trust me enough for a hug?"


The video begins with a series of news clips about the fatal attack that killed 22 people, and segues into a litany of headlines documenting the unfortunate rise in anti-Muslim incidents in and around Manchester since the May 22 bombing.

"Don't let these things break us apart, as we are one large community. We are Mancunians, and we are proud," Noori declares, adding, "I decided to test the people of Manchester with a simple social experiment." 

As you can see, passersby were initially a bit skeptical about approaching Noori for a hug, but once he got his first embrace, many more followed in quick succession.

"You're not alone, kid," the first hugger said.

Another later added, "We're all the same, whatever we are, and we look after each other."

Even as the crowd grew within minutes, a line formed, and Noori's arms got tired, he kept on hugging while thanking each and every participant for their kind gestures.

According to Metro, one man who offered Noori a hug was none other than Chris Parker, the "homeless hero" who ran into Manchester Arena after the blast and aided some of the wounded children.

Though Noori was obviously unaware of Parker's presence, he tells the Manchester Evening News, "With every hug, the comments I received were amazing. Some were getting all teary, and it's not hard to tell by a person's hug and tone of voice how much better their and my day became because of this."

He adds, "I did not expect so many people to come and hug me, let alone give me such positive comments, but it was the best thing I've ever done."

When he was done doling out hugs, Noori spoke briefly about his "experiment" to the crowd that had assembled. "Thank you very, very much to all of you that have given me a hug. It means a lot because nowadays anything that happens on the news, the majority of the time the wrong people get blamed for it."

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