World

Australians combat anti-Muslim sentiment with viral #illridewithyou campaign

Dec. 15, 2014 - People holding up what appeared to be a black flag with white Arabic writing on it, inside a cafe in Sydney, Australia. A gunman took an unknown number of people hostage inside the downtown Sydney chocolate shop and cafe. The flag was  believed to contain an Islamic declaration of faith. (still taken from Ch.7 video)

Dec. 15, 2014 - People holding up what appeared to be a black flag with white Arabic writing on it, inside a cafe in Sydney, Australia. A gunman took an unknown number of people hostage inside the downtown Sydney chocolate shop and cafe. The flag was believed to contain an Islamic declaration of faith. (still taken from Ch.7 video)  (AP)

Anti-Islamic sentiment has flooded social media in the wake of the Sydney siege, but there is a campaign gathering steam that will restore your faith in humanity.

A Twitter movement, #illridewithyou, has sprouted with everyday Australians offering to ride on buses and trains with Muslims, or give them a lift to work tomorrow, in order to keep them safe.

The grassroots campaign began with this thoughtful tweet from @sirtessa that said: “ 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."

She received such a strong response from the Twittersphere that she suggested the #illridewithyou hashtag. The idea quickly took off, with people throughout Australia pledging their support for Australia’s Muslim community.

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