Mazim Milla stood blindfolded in a corner of Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai, with these words on a placard near his feet: “I am a Muslim. I trust you. Do you trust me enough for a hug?” And Mumbaikars trusted him.
Religious tensions have often prevailed in Mumbai, the biggest metro in India, leading to huge issues of mistrust between different communities. The same situation is often seen in Western countries too.
A Mumbai Muslim, Mazim Milla, was inspired by Mustafa Mawla of Canada who, earlier this year, took part in an experiment called the “Blind Trust Project” to help break down fears and apprehensions towards the Muslim community.
Mawla stood on a street corner in Toronto with the sign: “I am a Muslim. I am labelled as a terrorist. I trust you. Do you trust me? Give me a hug.” Canadians of all race, age and gender stopped by to hug him. Here is a video of that experiment:
Like Mawla, Milla of Mumbai donned a blindfold to show that he did not fear being harmed by any of his fellow citizens. He then stood at Chowpatty beach with a placard in front of him. The sign read: “I am a Muslim. I trust you. Do you trust me enough for a hug?”
While many onlookers just stopped by to stare at him and take pictures, several other Mumbaikars walked up to him and gave him hugs.
Mid-Day Editor Sachin Kalbagh chanced upon this scene, took some pictures, and tweeted them for the world to see.
A Muslim man stood at Chowpatty (in Mumbai) on Thursday and asked for trust and hugs. Mumbai trusted and hugged. pic.twitter.com/9Rz96VNAV8
— Sachin Kalbag (@SachinKalbag) August 7, 2015