CARDIFF – A social experiment aimed at gauging anti-Muslim sentiments in Cardiff has shown people rejecting public abuse of a praying Muslim, with most people standing up for him and deploring abusive actions of the other.
“Obviously, looking at the media these days you’re expecting people to be afraid of Muslims because we have become a sort of stereotype in their eyes and I wanted to show that society could come together and be one,” Fahim Miah, 17, from Cardiff, told Wales Online.
“Looking at Wales, it’s just a beautiful place and no one really discriminates against us, regardless of their religion.”
Miah was speaking about a ‘social experiment’ he conducted with his friend Kennedy Clink, 20, on the streets of the capital.
Kennedy, who is also a Muslim, pretended to verbally abuse his friend, while he was praying, to see how people looking on would react.
Fahim, a Fitzalan High School sixth form pupil, said he was pleased with the results, with most people standing up for him and deploring the abusive actions of his friend.
A video of the social experiment has been posted on YouTube and has already been viewed more than 300,000 times.
The video features four separate incidents when Kennedy approached Miah while he was praying, capturing the reactions of members of the public.
“Of course there was that element of whether people would join in with the abuse but the whole point of the experiment was to find out what they chose to do and people supported us,” Miah said.
“We were really happy to see the people in Cardiff sticking up for us and we weren’t expecting it.”
In only one of those incidents people failed to intervene to stop verbal abuse of the praying Muslim.
“We didn’t expect everyone to join in but to the ones who did we were really grateful,” he said.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better reaction from people and it has made me confident that the people of Cardiff are all part of one society.
“It’s about communication and bringing people together and if this video helps to connect people then that is the main thing.”
Filmed in the video, Bethany Al-Affran, from Cardiff, appeared defending Miah.
“Discrimination to Muslims and other religions is ridiculous,” she said.
“It’s very personal to me due to my family being Muslim so to see people stick up for others means a lot to me even if they aren’t defending me. It’s amazing to see people united and making a change.”