Pranksters read verses from a Bible disguised as the Qur'an to prove a point

A YouTube "prank" video is illustrating once again this week that you simply can't judge a book by its cover. Not even a holy book, it seems.

Pranksters disguise the Bible as the Qur'an, read 'gruesome' verses aloud, and film peoples' reactions

People don't generally seem very keen on Bible passages about killing gay men and eating their own children – especially when they think those passages are from the Qur'an. (YouTube/Dit Is Normaal)

A YouTube "prank" video is being used once again this week to teach the world an important lesson about never judging a book by its cover. 

Quite literally, in fact.

The Holy Quran Experiment was released by Dutch comedians Alexander Spoor and Sacha Harland over the weekend to express the duo's concerns about reports of Islamophobia motivated by last month's Paris attacks.

"Since the recent events in Paris, and the association between ISIS and Islam, the Islamic belief has been under constant scrutiny," reads English subtitles on the Dutch-language video's introduction.

"Muslims have been accused of following a religion that has no place in our Western culture," the piece continues. "This made us wonder: What about Christianity? A religion that has influenced our culture greatly?"

To further explore the question, Spoor and Harland picked up a copy of the Bible and started reading.

Then, after selecting what they called "some of it's most gruesome verses," they removed the Bible's cover, replaced it with the cover of a Qur'an – the central religious text of Islam – and took to the streets.

"Let's see what happens when we read these passages from the Bible to some people out there, all while leading them to believe these are passages from the Qur'an," says one member of the team, which goes by Dit Is Normaal on YouTube, before sharing the following quote with several passers-by:

"If you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me… you will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters." (Leviticus)

As it turns out, people in The Netherlands aren't very keen on the idea of eating their own children. Or putting gay men to death. Or cutting off the hands of women who dare to teach.

"How could anyone believe in this?" one woman says. "That's unbelievable to me."

"Cutting off peoples' hands … I mean, apparently that's just the way they are," says another. "If you've been raised with this book and these kinds of thoughts it's going to influence the way you think."

When asked to compare what they've just heard from the (fake) Qur'an to what's in the Bible, different people the comedians encounter describe the Islamic holy book as "more aggressive" and less "positive" than the Christian holy book.

Then comes the big reveal, which leaves every participant visibly shocked (and most, rather amused).

Harland and Spoor let the faces speak for themselves, choosing to reserve comment and show a reel of the reactions instead.

You can view the entire piece right here and let us know what you think of it in the comments or on Twitter @CBCNews.


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