In the midst of ominous developments this morning in Sydney, Australia, one encouraging storyline has emerged: Australians are coming out en masse on social media to proclaim that intolerance will not be tolerated. The #illridewithyou hashtag has rapidly gone viral, with residents streaming online to express an eager willingness to take public transportation alongside Muslims who, fearing an anti-Islam backlash, may be scared to do so alone. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Rachael Jacobs appears to be at the heart of the campaign, having posted this on Facebook:
- "...and the (presumably) Muslim woman sitting next to me on the train silently removes her hijab. 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."
That story began making the rounds online, and @sirtessa seems to have then started the hashtag roughly eight hours ago. Her initial tweets (which progressed to her asking the media to stop calling her parents at 11pm):
- 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.
- Maybe start a hashtag? What's in ?
- Nothing, probably because it looks like "ill'.
- Anyway. #373 bus between Coogee & Martin Place. @ me if you just want to wear your headdress & not be bothered.