Can Hugs Bring Communities Back Together?

Just half a mile from the scene of the attack – next to a sign reading: "I'M MUSLIM & I TRUST YOU. DO YOU TRUST ME ENOUGH FOR A HUG?" And what follows is incredible.

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The life of Bako – Hugs
The Life of Bako (YouTube, Screenshot).

Do you remember the bombing after the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester arena in Manchester, England, that killed 22 and injured around 120 on May 22, 2017? It was the day when once again the terrorist attack created a fear psychosis and a rift between communities. Sadly, it is traumatic not only for the families of victims but also for people who profess the same faith as the terrorists, who not only get marginalized but have to live with a social stigma.

Baktash Noori, a video blogger, was just as shocked as any British citizen when the suicide bomber Salman Abedi walked into the Manchester Arena on May 22 and left a bloody trail of death and devastation. Determined not to see the terrorist attack divide the world further, Baktash decided to film a social experiment to see if the people of Manchester would accept him – a Muslim man.

In footage uploaded to his YouTube channel, The Life of Bako, Baktash stands blindfolded on Market Street – just half a mile from the scene of the attack – next to a sign reading: “I’M MUSLIM & I TRUST YOU. DO YOU TRUST ME ENOUGH FOR The HUGS?” And what follows is incredible.

The Life of Bako (YouTube Screenshot) 1
The Life of Bako (YouTube Screenshot)

It is truly admirable for young Baktash to stand alone on a busy thoroughfare when emotions were running high against the Muslims. He had the courage of his convictions and the belief that every human being will respond to love with love! This heart-warming video shows how ordinary people reacted when a blindfolded Muslim man asks people to trust him. Dozens of people went up to Baktash after he stood on the street with his eyes covered.

The video first shows people walking by until one man passes as he reads the sign and turns back to give him a very heartfelt embrace. “Goodman, you’re not an alone kid and don’t think you’re outside,” he said.

*COMPOSITE* Muslim blogger stands blindfolded for hugs

Then a woman quickly approaches and hugs him and a man, and another woman. People stream up to hugs him of all ages. Baktash Noori with his brave experiment in some ways restored our faith in humanity.

Look around you and you see a countless number of people dying in terrorist attacks or genocide by Dictatorial Regimes. And you start wondering can a human being inflict so much pain and suffering on a fellow human being? It happened in Nazi Germany during the Second World War when millions of Jews were tortured and killed. The Nazis believed Jews were inferior human beings and did not deserve to live. So the genocide started with millions of innocent men, women, and children being killed systematically because they were different.

There is a similar kind of evil on this planet which goes on in China today but most people are not aware of it. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) makes sure that the pain and torture they are inflicting on their innocent citizens is not revealed to the people.
What we are talking about today is the torture and killing of innocent men and women who are followers of a spiritual exercise and meditation practice called Falun Gong. Since the universal principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance do not go well with the CCP’s ideologies, people are forced to give up their faith – and if they don’t, they are killed.

Falun-Gong-Vigil (Benjamin-Chasteen)
Falun-Gong-Vigil (Benjamin-Chasteen)

The shocking thing is their organs are extracted and put up in the black market for sale. Whereas in the rest of the world you have to wait for an organ transplant, in China, you can get it in less than a week.

As an afterthought, with the terrorist monster rearing its ugly head ever so often, one wonders if someone like Baktash would have the guts to stage something like this in a public place again and expect the same kind of response. It is said that terror attacks slowly erode our faith in humanity but good sense should prevail, and we should not generalize and ostracize people of a certain faith.

Watch the video below:

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