As the Sydney hostage crisis continues to unfold, thousands of Australians have joined a spontaneous movement of solidarity with the country’s Muslims.
Using the hashtag #illridewithyou, people from around the country have offered solidarity (as well as rides) to Muslim Australians who might otherwise feel uncomfortable or unsafe wearing religious garb in public. The hashtag took off, and had been tweeted more than 100,000 times within hours of its first use:
Rachael Jacobs appears to have started the movement. She wrote a Facebook post where she said that she had seen a Muslim woman on her train silently take off her hijab in the wake of news about the hostage situation. Jacobs ran after her and promised to walk with her so she could put the headscarf back on.
— Losa Morrison (@rosiemaybells) December 15, 2014
Twitter user Tessa Kum, tweeting as @sirtessa, saw Jacobs’ post and suggested that others should emulate her example by offering solidarity to Muslim passengers on their own public transport routes:
Anyway. #373 bus between Coogee & Martin Place. #illridewithyou @ me if you just want to wear your headdress & not be bothered.
— Sir Tessa (@sirtessa) December 15, 2014
She was quickly joined by others who also tweeted their transport routes and promised assistance to Muslim passengers.