One point of contention—the relationship between moderate Muslims and radical terrorists—has been hotly contested for some time, but the attacks nevertheless spurred fresh accusations. Some said moderates were not doing enough to police their “own” community, while others such as US presidential candidate Donald Trump simply directed suspicion towards all Muslims.
One Muslim man in Paris took to the streets to dispel the negativity. Outside the Place de la Republique he blindfolded himself and placed two signs at his feet, which read: “I’m a Muslim but I’m told that I’m a terrorist” and “I trust you. Do you trust me? If so, hug me.” Plenty did:
Some people who embraced the man became emotional, while others simply thanked the him for his message. Afterwards, he took off his blindfold, and told crowds: “I did this to send a message to everyone […] A terrorist is a terrorist, someone willing to kill another human being over nothing. A Muslim would never do that. Our religion forbids it.”
Several other Muslims, French and otherwise, were compelled to share the same message at the Place de le Republique too.