YOUNG VOICES

Nottingham Muslim Schoolboy Stood In The Cold For Two Hours Offering Free Hugs To 'Combat Islamophobia'

25/11/2015 12:17 GMT | Updated 25/11/2015 12:59 GMT

A Muslim schoolboy from Nottingham stood in the cold for two hours offering free hugs to strangers to show "not all Muslims are terrorists".

Yusf Pirot, a 16-year-old who moved to Britain from Iraq in 2007, blindfolded himself and stood in the centre of the city with a sign reading: "I trust you. Do you trust me? Give me a hug."

Pirot said the idea had been in his head for a "long time".

"I wanted to send a message out to the world and tell them that I am a Muslim - there are 1.7bn of us in the world that doesn't mean that every single one of us is a terrorist," the Independent reported him saying.

"Deep inside I do care - and it hurts me."

His video has had millions of views, and Pirot says he is "shocked and surprised" by the response. "I thought it would be a normal video and ... not a big deal. I was like 'wow'.

"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?’."

Wendy Feargrieve of Calverton, stopped to give Yusf a hug, according to the BBC. Recalling the event, Feargrieve said: "He was blindfolded and he couldn't see who was going up to him and what they were going to do. I walked up to him... and he put his arms around me and I told him he was very brave to do what he was doing."

See Also: