Australians Just Showed the World Exactly How to Respond to Terrorism With #IllRideWithYou

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

In the aftermath of the hostage crisis in downtown Sydney, Australians are showing the world they're not caving to racism or Islamophobia. 

On Monday, an armed gunman stormed a cafe in Martin Place, entering a tense standoff with police. After the hostage-taker displayed an Islamic flag in the cafe's window, many of Australia's Muslims are understandably anxious about facing retribution. 

But instead, Australians have banded together on Twitter with #IllRideWithYou, a hashtag showing their solidarity with fellow countrymen scared of being attacked on public transportation. 

The hashtag started simply, with an act of compassion. Tessa Kum, a writer living in Sydney, told Guardian Australia she acted after seeing a tweet from TV reporter Michael James:


The campaign snowballed from there. Topsy, a social media analytics website, measured more than 150,000 tweets with the hashtag in just 12 hours:

Why it matters. This hashtag movement is a powerful sign that Australians won't get worked up into a Islamophobic rage because of the actions of a single madman. It's also a lesson for countries like the U.S., where hate crimes against Muslims spike whenever there's a criminal or terrorist incident involving Muslims, or even when something innocuous happens like debating the placement of a mosque in New York City which wasn't even a mosque. Australian social media users are showing Muslims they're safe in their home and shouldn't fear retaliation for an incident they're not linked to. 

If your faith in humanity hasn't been restored yet, perhaps these tweets will help:

As the crisis unfolds, Australia continues to set an example for the United States, and the rest of the world, by refusing to let xenophobia rule the day. Good on ya, Australia. 

Update: Dec. 17, 2014
This article has been updated to clarify a reference to Park51, a community center proposed by Muslim developers intended to promote interfaith dialogue and which would have included prayer space.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jordan Valinsky

Jordan is a writer at the Live News desk. He's previously written for The Week, Betabeat, The Daily Dot and CNN.com.

MORE FROM

White House says it knows of potential Syrian chemical attack, warns Assad of "heavy price"

The Trump administration did not provide any evidence backing the threat.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

White House says it knows of potential Syrian chemical attack, warns Assad of "heavy price"

The Trump administration did not provide any evidence backing the threat.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.