An unfortunate day with widespread attention in the Sydney Siege, with as many as 30 people being held hostage in a cafe in Martin Place, Sydney by at least one gunman with suspected Islamic State links.
The internet became a place of hope and faith as millions gathered in solidarity for the Muslims in Australia, after reports of veiled women being abused in public transport leaving Sydney surfaced. Ignorance has generalized this unfortunate cafe siege as an act of racism rather than extremism.
The #IllRideWithYou hashtag received over 40,000 mentions in an hour, and it became a global trend – raising awareness, dismissing any bigotry and ignorance of the situation in Sydney and around the world. The inspiring hashtag gave hope to the Muslim community in Sydney, even instigating the Australian Muslim youths to hand out flowers and water bottles to people in the state for their thankfulness amidst the grim situation.
The internet became a beautiful place for us to restore faith in humanity, tackling the sensitive and big issue through a simple, impromptu campaign. It proved itself to be a massive platform to spread awareness through a simple kind act. The emotive hashtag is still trending widely on Twitter, now becoming a campaign in tackling racism and extremism. It is a horribly unfortunate day in Sydney but humanity, through the internet, has touched the hearts of many – restoring faith and abolishing hate in Sydney.
Writer: Leong Chee Sheng