SHAFAQNA – Over the weekend, people tweeted an offer to their Muslim neighbors: #IllWalkWithYou. The hashtag spread quickly as Muslims around the country reeled from the news that two Muslim men were fatally shot blocks from their Queens mosque on Saturday afternoon.
The murders of Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and his assistant Thara Uddin, 64, are under investigation. Although police have not determined a motive in the killings, the Muslim community feels strongly that the men were targeted because of their religion. They fear that the intensifying anti-Muslim rhetoric in the presidential campaign will only lead to more hate crimes.
But in a remarkable show of solidarity, thousands of people around the country pushed back against such bigotry and vowed to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Muslims in their own communities.
The hashtag was motivated by Australians, who tweeted #IllRideWithYou to offer to accompany Muslims on public transportation who were afraid of retaliation after a Muslim gunman held people hostage in a Sydney cafe in 2014.
Here are some of the sentiments shared with the #IllWalkWithYou tweets:
And this tweet summed up what the hashtag really meant to the Muslims on the receiving end of it: