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#illridewithyou: An Incredibly Timely Initiative With Great Potential

Slightly edited to reflect most recent developments: The hostage-taking at the Lindt Chocolat Café in Sydney, Australia is now offically over but the news is not entirely good with respect to number of casualties and injuries. In the interim, however — during the 17-hour stand-off since Monday morning, Sydney time — a rather remarkable Twitter hashtag has swiftly taken off and is now trending internationally. Evidently, its creation was spurred by (a) Muslim listeners calling in to ABC Radio in Sydney, voicing fears about riding on public transport; plus (b) a young woman's FB post about a spontaneous gesture she made towards a Muslim woman who removed her hijab immediately after boarding a train at a Sydney station.

#illridewithyou is basically about Sydneysiders — and people elsewhere in Australia — pledging support for Australian Muslim communities and committing to doing their bit to make anyone scared of racist backlash feel safer in public places and spaces.

I agree with the Twitter commenter who described this initiative as: "a little ray of light on an otherwise dark day". Let's hope so!


ETA: Here's more info on how this campaign got off the ground, so proactively in many respects.

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