Anti-Islamaphobia campaign trends globally in solidarity with Muslims after cafe standoff raised fears of reprisal.
Australians have taken to social media in solidarity with the country’s Muslim community to counter concern about an anti-Muslim backlash, after a gunman took an unknown number of people hostage at a cafe in Sydney’s financial and shopping district.
Amid uncertainty about the hostage-taker’s motives and fears of reprisals after a flag bearing the Islamic proclamation of faith, was raised in the cafe, some Australians created the hashtag, #illridewithyou in a bid to show solidarity with local Muslims who might feel threatened.
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Thomas, reporting from Sydney, said there was some reported racist sentiments towards Muslims especially on public transport following the standoff at the cafe.
The hashtag trended globally on Twitter rapidly and in response, Australia’s race discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said he was heartened by the campaign adding, “let’s not allow fear, hatred and division to triumph.”
More than 40 Muslim groups condemned the siege, saying in a statement that they rejected “any attempt to take the innocent life of any human being or to instil fear and terror into their hearts”.
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Israel’s month-long assault on Gaza has over 1900 Palestinians dead, mostly civilians. It has sparked condemnation by the UN and of course on twitter. Outraged tweeps are using the hashtag #BDS, short for means boycott, divestment and sanctions — a growing movement to get Israel to change its policies when it comes to human rights.
Watch more on Israel and Palestine…
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As the conflict in Gaza rages on, many people around the world are taking to social media to express their views on the decades long situation in the Middle East.
By: Santilla Chingaipe
Among them, are some big celebrities.
One of the hashtags that’s been not only the most used, but perhaps also more controversial, is the ‘#FreePalestine’ hashtag which people are using to show their sympathies in the favour of the Palestinians.
Zayn Malik of the British boy band One Direction has been the latest to voice his concern when he posted “#FreePalestine” on his Twitter account last week.
Popstar Rihanna also tweeted the hashtag, only to delete it several few minutes later after receiving a barrage of abusive messages.
Antony Lowenstein is an independent journalist and author and also a prolific tweeter.
He spoke to Santilla Chingaipe about what the hashtag means.
How instant access to online images and information is helping to shape global reaction to the Israel-Gaza war.
As the conflict between Israel and Hamas intensifies, so too does the battle being waged online. For generations, propaganda has always unfolded alongside warfare; but conflicts now are coming under increased scrutiny through social media. An information war is being waged online by journalists, by individuals and by the Israeli and Hamas media machines. The hashtag #GazaUnderAttack has been used in more than 4 million Twitter posts, compared to the nearly 200,000 for #IsraelUnderFire.
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