Muslims in Sydney who fear anti-Islam backlash following the siege at Lindt Chocolat Cafe are getting support from their fellow Australians.
Twitter users are spreading the #illridewithyou hashtag in an effort to show solidarity and are even offering to meet up with Muslims who fear retribution, ushering them safely to their destinations.
The #illridewithyou hashtag emerged after a woman named Rachael Jacobs wrote tweets claiming that she saw a supposedly Muslim woman remove her hijab while on a train — an act purportedly done out of fear in the wake of the cafe siege.
Jacobs approached the woman and told her to put it back on, pledging to walk with her, according to BBC News.
She wrote, "She started to cry and hugged me for about a minute — then walked off alone."
After reading this story, Twitter user Tessa Kum (@sirtessa) came up with the #illridewithyou hashtag, which quickly spread on social media.
If you reg take the #373 bus b/w Coogee/MartinPl, wear religious attire, & don’t feel safe alone: I’ll ride with you. @ me for schedule.— Sir Tessa (@sirtessa) December 15, 2014
Maybe start a hashtag? What’s in #illridewithyou?— Sir Tessa (@sirtessa) December 15, 2014
The #illridewithyou message is now trending worldwide, as supporters continue to offer encouragement to Muslims who are fearful in the wake of the siege.
See some of the tweets below:
I'm a Muslim and I live in Sydney and the #illridewithyou tag made me so happy I'm in tears.— Liam James, (@twerksforpayne) December 15, 2014
#illridewithyou is the most inspirational thing I've seen in a while. It's beautiful seeing the humanity and love being shared.— Morgan Cooper (@Morgan_G_Cooper) December 15, 2014
#illridewithyou Muslim does not mean terrorist. Do not let media chaos influence you otherwise.— Sara French (@FrenchiedMuse) December 15, 2014
Governments and news outlets around the world promote hatred. Twitter proves we can all get on if we try with #illridewithyou.— Christopher Bolton (@chrisbolton) December 15, 2014
I'm an immigrant. I'm the son of two refugees. I'm wishing I was in sydney so that I could ride the train tomorrow. #IllRideWithYou— Osher Günsberg (@oshergunsberg) December 15, 2014
And read the ongoing discussion on Twitter here.
As TheBlaze previously reported, the campaign comes after a black flag featuring the words of the Shahada was seen in the window of the cafe. The Shahada is one of the five pillars of Islam, but has been used by extremists in the past.
Australian news outlets have named the suspected gunman as Man Haron Monis, also known as Sheikh Haron.