An American Muslim Walks into a Bakery . . .

How do people respond when an American Muslim is denied service in a bakery?

ABC News did a little experiment:

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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12 Responses to An American Muslim Walks into a Bakery . . .

  1. andrewclunn says:

    I’ve seen these ABC specials before. They’re so brazenly edited that it’s repulsive. Even when I agree with them I get sickened by their tactics. I just can’t stand emotionally manipulative propaganda, even when I agree with its message. The nature of the thing repulses me.

    • Cody Deitz says:

      While I agree with you it’s edited in a very tight manner, I cannot understand how you can be repulsed by this. I can see being slightly less effected but repulsed? You’re response is so strong it’s almost ridiculous.
      You have to keep in mind that these programs are cramming these large issues into segments that just simply cannot effectively hold all the details. To so quickly move beyond the positive nature of a report like this and immediately comment on your disgust is so senseless as to almost be comical.

    • santitafarella says:


      I share Cody’s bewilderment at your response. Post-WWII social psychology has long done these kinds of experiments, and they are informative. This particular experiment would only be unethical if the individuals caught unawares were not debriefed.

      13, 6, and 22. Those numbers are what ought to be the source of praise and blame: 13 stood up for the woman, 6 showed the crassest prejudice (which, I’m sorry, but it’s important to know such things), and 22 were silent. And running that sort of experiment 41 times represents a pretty decent statistical sample.


    • andrewclunn says:

      Staged / edited pieces designed to play on my emotions are like high-pressure sales pitches to me. They have the opposing effect of what was intended. And no, this was not an good experiment. And test where the people who set up the test, also carry out the test, and then can selectively decide what information to share about the test, is bullshit.

  2. concerned christian says:

    That game by MSM to ignore the Elephant and swat at the fly is sickening.

  3. concerned christian says:

    Here’s a more intelligent discussion about the Muslim extremist actions and the West reaction on tonights News hour.

    MARGARET WARNER: Now, meanwhile, here in the West, we’re seeing the rise of what some would call a new kind of Islamophobia.

    TONY BLAIR: Yes.

    MARGARET WARNER: In Europe, bans on building minarets or wearing the total veil, here right in New York, this furor over an Islamic center being built near Ground Zero.

    What do you think is going on there? I mean, do you think the gulf between the two civilizations is actually widening?

    TONY BLAIR: No, I don’t think so. But I think what is going on is that this extremism is producing its own reaction, right?

    And what political leaders have got to do is to try and make sense of that. And, in my view, the only basis on which you make sense of it is to say, this is not a battle between Islam and the West. It is a battle, however, between those with a modern view of the world in which people of different faiths peacefully coexist together and those in whatever religion who don’t.

    And, you know, it’s an interesting thing, this, but the reaction to this extremism, which is producing its own form of, as you say, Islamophobia in certain parts of the world and in Europe — you know, this is an issue now that is like wildfire through European politics — what is necessary for European leaders is to say, no, we are not going to engage in discrimination against Muslims.

    On the contrary, we are going to stand up for the principle that people are born free and equal, whatever their race, whatever their faith, whatever their color, and we’re going to stand up for that and stand up for it against those within our own cultures and societies that want to discriminate and those who are fomenting extremism within Islam.

  4. concerned christian says:

    That’s just in from the UK

    • santitafarella says:


      It’s appalling. Thank you for sharing it.


      • concerned christian says:

        I appreciate that you are willing to see that other side also, and remember this was not staged by Anti Muslims, this was Muslims taking advantage of the UK freedoms. Now I can relax and directly comment on the ABC video. Beside the fact that it was staged in the most brazen way, I can see that the reporter have his conclusions made up before he ran his experiment. An experiment suggested by a Muslim women to test the American public. Let me see how it works, you walk into a bakery and the salesperson is acting in a bizarre way. Six, mindlessly supported him with minimum effort such as “a thumbs up”!, 13 strongly opposed him to the point that they are taking active roles and getting emotionally wrapped up in the event, and 22 acted the traditional American way which is minding their own business. His stupid conclusion is that “what happened is the most frightening to Muslims”. Sorry this is BS, what happened was America at its best. Try this experiment in any other part of the World with the right characters and the right script and see what will happen!

      • santitafarella says:


        A reporter can have his mind made up in advance, but the experiment, when actually run, might have still contradicted him. In this case, it didn’t.

        It’s a fair guess that the experiment would catch some ignorant people, and it did. I’m impressed that 13 Americans passed with flying colors. I’m not thrilled with the 22 who just went along.

        As for Americans being less bigoted than people living in other countries, I would hope that living in a Jeffersonian democracy would train the habits of individualism, and that you are right. It’s something a social scientist could answer.


  5. concerned christian says:

    OK we are almost in total agreement on this subject. But given his comment at the end, imagine what would he have said if more people agreed with this hyperactive baker, instead of strongly disagreeing with his attitude?

  6. concerned christian says:

    I did not know that this is a regular program on ABC, I believe this is the evil twin of Candid Camera. While the original “Candid Camera” brings a laugh to the viewer, this one is just an annoying social experiment which plays on the emotion of the viewers. I am amazed that ABC is still running it, what do you think about such an emotional abuse of the viewers?

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