“Watch police frisk man in Muslim dress — moments after letting him walk past in Western clothes.” So reads the provocative headline of an article at the British tabloid website, the Mirror. A YouTube video posted in the article is described as “shocking” and as having “sparked fury online.”
In the early part of the video, which follows, two men can be seen loudly exchanging comments on a street corner. Eventually, the two begin pushing one another. A police officer looks on impassively. About halfway through the clip, the same two men — this time clad in traditional Muslim garb — rehash their argument in public. But this time, the cop intervenes physically, forcing both men against a wall as he proceeds to frisk them.
At its home channel on YouTube, the video is titled “Racial Profiling Experiment.” The last time I checked, Islam was not a race, but that’s the least of this video’s problems.
Here is some of the back-and-forth in the comments section, profanity redacted:
F**K RACIST PEOPLE !!!! THIS COP AND OTHER COPS LIKE HIM SHOULD BE FIRED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God bless every race and every religion
lol yes bless Muslims, because the world needs more people that cut the breast off of women, and straps bombs to them selves and blow people up in the name of their god.
+James McIntosh has your b*tch a** ever seen that ever happen if not then shut the f**k up you don’t know what really happens and you don’t know why they do all that sh*t. And the “Americans were the first to actually start using bombs. F**ktard
Before anyone else becomes outraged over this double standard, it should be noted that the “experiment” appears to have been entirely scripted. The two Muslims are Adam Saleh and Sheikh Akbar, who have appeared in numerous web “prank” videos. Saleh self-identifies at his Facebook page, TrueStoryASA, as an actor and director.
As for the cop, the website Photography is Not a Crime notes:
[T]he cop’s face is blurred out when the whole point of the video was to expose the NYPD for racial profiling.
The cop also turns his back on one of the men while he pushes and frisks another man against a wall, something we know they are trained never to do.
The real tell comes toward the end, when Saleh states, “What you just saw is what we always go through when we’re filming with our cultural clothing on.” But if it’s what they “always go through,” then why not film a real example, instead of staging one and asking viewers to take his word for it that he is a victim?
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