Australians continue to shut down Islamophobia.
Two days ago, a young Australian woman defended a Muslim woman against an Islamophobic tirade by another passenger on the train with her. Stacey Eden heard a woman making anti-Muslim comments towards Khalida Hafeez and her family next to her on a passenger train in Sydney and decided to speak up.
Stacey stayed on the train past her stop to make sure the couple did not face further harassment.
Khalida’s husband, Hafeez Ahmed Bhatti, shared the video on Facebook.
The incident was reminiscent of what happened in December 2014 in Sydney. On the morning of December 15th, a gunman held 10 customers and 8 employees of a Lindt chocolate cafe in Martin Place and displayed a flag with the shahadah in the window. American Muslims feared they would face a backlash. As the hostage crisis unfolded, we saw Australians band together against Islamophobia with ##illridewithyou. The viral hashtag began when Rachael Jacobs noticed a woman on the passenger train with her remove her scarf.
After the encounter, Rachael Jacobs wondered, “What good is one small action against an avalanche of ignorance?”
There were almost 250,000 tweets with #illridewithyou expressing solidarity with Australian Muslims. And the video Stacey uploaded to Facebook defending the Muslim couple has been viewed more than 840,000 times.
As Stacey wrote, “I didn’t realize how something so small would end up becoming so important.”