- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A viral YouTube video that purported to show racial profiling of two Muslim men by an NYPD police officer is a hoax, The Smoking Gun has revealed.

Bloggers Adam Saleh and Sheikh Akbar posted the video Sunday under the handle “TrueStoryASA,” receiving nearly 210,000 views and 35,000 upvotes. The video appears to show two men in traditional Islamic garb being harassed by a police officer, who 20 minutes earlier didn’t flinch when the same two men walked by in street clothes.

A description for the video originally called the encounter a “social experiment” the bloggers decided to film after they said they were being repeatedly harassed by police. The description made no mention that the filmed encounter was staged.

After the stunt was reported to be a hoax, the video description was edited to read: “Dramatization of previous events that occurred with us in our tradition clothing while filming in NYC. This video is not against the NYPD,” The Smoking Gun reported.

The stunt gained national attention, including that of the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is now demanding an apology.

Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s national communications director, called Saleh and Akbar’s actions “unacceptable” and potentially damaging to the Muslim community.

“Muslims are already under the microscope, and to do this just to gain some cheap publicity is totally unacceptable,” he told The Huffington Post, which also fell for the fake story. “There should be no attempt to justify it; they should just apologize and ask people to forgive them for their irresponsible actions.”

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