The Sydney siege has come to an end, with two hostages confirmed dead, and Australians have shown their support to the Muslim community by saying, “I’ll ride with you.”
Image: Angger Prawitasari/Twitter
With many people afraid an Islamaphobic backlash would follow after a gunman held people hostage in a Lindt Café in Sydney, forcing them to hold up a flag with Arabic writing on it, Australians have rallied to support the Muslim community.
The hashtag, #illridewithyou, first came about when a woman, Rachael Jacobs, reported seeing a woman remove her headscarf on a train, appearing afraid that she’d be targeted by an anti-Muslim backlash. “I ran after her at the train station. I said ‘put it back on. I’ll walk with u’. She started to cry and hugged me for about a minute — then walked off alone.”
Others saw Jacobs’ moving comment on social media and vowed to accompany other Muslims who felt the same and so sprang up the hashtag, #illridewithyou, a symbol of solidarity from Australians towards the Muslim community.
Because, really, the tragic situation which occurred to those unfortunate people who were just picking up their morning coffees, or perhaps picking up some chocolates for their families for Christmas, had nothing to do with Islam. The real issue lies not in the gunman’s religion, because he was a man who clearly was not sane of mind.
The call to support the Muslim community has been one positive outcome that has come from this truly horrifying event, just a week before Christmas.
Here are some of the touching #illridewithyou comments on Twitter, along with those who have shared their condolences for the hostages who lost their lives.