Australians are showing solidarity for Muslims concerned about a backlash amid the Sydney hostage crisis, by offering to ride with them on public transit.

The hashtag #IllRideWithYou began to trend after a gunman took 17 people hostage in the Lindt Chocolat Café in downtown Sydney Monday morning. Two people inside the cafe held up a banner with an Islamic declaration of faith that has been used by extremists in the past, prompting speculation that the standoff was the result of a possible terrorist plot.

The standoff eventually ended in a shootout with police, and officers later confirmed that three people, including the gunman, were killed.

The hashtag started with a tweet from an Australian woman who offered to ride a local bus route with anyone wearing Islamic religious attire who didn't feel safe.


Soon, she suggested the hashtag #IllRideWithYou and invited others to show their support to Muslims in the country.

It didn't take long before the hashtag began to trend, with Australians answering the call by offering to be commuting partners with anyone concerned about their personal safety.

As the campaign picked up steam, many across Australia began to praise the sentiment behind the hashtag.

And others noted that rather than creating divisions, the hostage-taking was bringing everyday Australians together.

By Monday evening, local time, Twitter Australia reported that there had been more than 90,000 mentions of #IllRideWithYou.