But if ever there was a good reason to get punched in the face, this might be it.
The video shows what is presumed to be a Muslim man in traditional clothing waiting for a bus. A young, white, man approaches him and asks him to take the next bus “because he looks like a terrorist.” The location of the scene is relevant: it takes place in Hamilton Ontario, the home and resting place of the young soldier, Nathan Cirillo, who was killed by lone gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau (described as an Islamic extremist, but mainly just an unwell man). So such a scenario might be disappointing, if not entirely unexpected.
This was the premise for a web video “social experiment” conducted by 18-year-old university student Omar Albach (his previous videos include “Hug A Terrorist”) and two friends. Albach’s accomplices were the white guy and Muslim guy. Now the cliche reaction here would be one of intolerance. And it was. Except not in the way you might think. While the instigator berates the “Muslim” guy, bystanders don’t join in–in fact they attack the instigator, first verbally, and then, well, watch the video. (Maybe the new “Don’t tase me, bro” is “THIS IS A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT!”)
As with all pranks of this nature, it’s difficult to know the level of authenticity at a glance. But the violent denouement looks pretty convincing. And in the wake of such a sad, sad event, we’ll take some enjoyment from a hard-hitting demonstration of what we like to believe about the Canadian mindset.