Amid the ongoing hostage crisis in Sydney, Australia, social media is overflowing with the hashtag #illridewithyou. Meant initially as an offer to actually ride with Muslims who might feel unsafe using public transportation in the wake of the hostage situation, the hashtag has now been adopted globally as a gesture of solidarity with Muslims everywhere.
The hashtag was created when Twitter user @MichaelJames_TV shared a screenshot of a woman’s Facebook status about how she tried to comfort a Muslim woman at a train station.
Another Twitter user, @sirtessa, came up with the idea for the hashtag after retweeting the interaction.
From there, it took off.
As always, though, there are some curmudgeons.
As of Monday morning the hashtag was trending worldwide. Five people have fled from the cafe, but an unknown number of hostages remain. The gunman has demanded an ISIS flag in exchange for a hostage and a phone call with Australian prime minister Tony Abbott. For updates on the situation, Australia’s ABC News is running a live-blog.