In the aftermath of Saturday’s shooting in New York City that left a local imam and his associate dead near a Queens mosque, people on Twitter are doing their part to help Muslims feel safe.
Police are questioning a man regarding the deaths of 55-year-old imam, Maulama Akonjee, and his 64-year-old associate, Tharam Uddin, Reuters reported on Monday. While police said that there’s no evidence that the victims, who had just left afternoon prayers, were targeted because of their faith, they haven’t ruled it out either.
But regardless of whether Islamophobia fueled the shooting, Twitter users made a point to show that the Muslim community shouldn’t have to live in fear.
The online community indicated that they’d be willing to protect Muslims by escorting them to mosque through the hashtag #IllWalkWithYou.
The hashtag, which has been used in the past to show support for other groups that have been attacked, resurfaced after Arab-German filmmaker Lexi Alexander tweeted her commitment to keeping her Muslim neighbors safe. She noted that she was inspired by #IllRideWithYou, which began trending in support of Muslims following the 2014 Sydney hostage crisis.
This time, netizens were just as eager to prove they’ll be there for their Muslim counterparts.
Some openly stated their pledge to show that they’re serious allies.
Others offered hopeful words during this difficult time.
And finally, a couple people on Twitter shared how the hashtag was exactly what they needed to see following the horrific news.