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As a gunman holds people hostage in a cafe in Sydney, thousands of messages of support have been posted online for Muslims in Australia who are afraid of an Islamophobic backlash.
The spark was this post on Facebook by Rachael Jacobs, who said she’d seen a woman she presumed was Muslim silently removing her hijab while sitting next to her on the train: “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’.
The story of Rachael’s encounter with a woman in religious attire inspired this Twitter user, ‘Sir Tessa’, aka Tessa Kum: “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,” user ‘Sir Tessa’ tweeted. Moments later she tweeted “Maybe start a hashtag? What’s in #illridewithyou?” [Read more…]