A moving trust experiment where Muslims blindfold themselves and ask for hugs has found its way to the UK. Yusef Pirot, a 16-year-old British Musim, stood in the middle of Nottingham city centre for two hours with a sign saying: ‘I trust you. Do you trust me? Give me a hug.’ Strangers approached Yusef in droves to take him up on the offer, and a video of people embracing him has gone viral with millions of views. Yusef’s family are Kurdish, and moved to the UK from northern Iraq in 2007.
‘I was shocked by the Paris attacks,’ he said. ‘Why would anyone want to hurt another human being and why would they kill innocent people for no reason?
‘The stereotype is not right and these extremists are brainwashed – what they’re doing is not what Islam is about.’
‘There are 1.7 bilion of us in the world, that doesn’t mean that every single one of us is a terrorist,’ he added. ‘When I was blindfolded I heard a few people saying negative things – one person said to his friend, ‘What would happen if I punched him in the face?’.
‘But most of the reactions were massively positive, and I think all religions need to unite in these difficult times we now face.’