I sighed heavily at the news of yet another Muslim man terrorizing innocent people. I just sat there thinking how impossible we are making it for people to truly believe that there is no causality between Islam and terrorism… A man by the name of Sheikh Haron was holding hostages in a cafe in Sydney, Australia for more than twelve hours into late yesterday, and putting up flags with the Islamic shahāda on the windows. Top of your head, what would you expect the Aussies to think or do? … Hate on Muslim people, right? Isn’t that the currency of the day, after all? Maybe, pull on women’s hijabs? Verbally insult ‘Muslim-looking’ people and potentially physically assault them? We were there after 9/11. We were there after the Boston bombings. We all have our racist stories. But not today. The Australian online community is pulling together to protect their Muslim compatriots. Australians are offering to walk and ride with Muslim Australians in public places if they fear racist backlash. The hashtag is “#illridewithyou.” Search for it. It is incredible.

It all started with Rachael Jacobs who saw the lady sitting next to her on the train silently removing her hijab, she ran after her and said: “Put it back it on—I’ll walk with you.” The veiled woman started to cry and hugged Rachael for about a minute, then walked off alone. A TV content editor, Tessa Kum, read Rachael’s story and blasted it on her social media and finished with: “If you wear religious attire, if you don’t feel safe alone, I’ll ride with you. @ me for schedule.” And it caught on.

Whether this lasts just for today, or whether this is truly a new wave of humanism, THIS is news that is worthy of sharing.

Written by Sara El-Yafi


  1. Jihad Krayem · December 16, 2014

    Beautifully written, as always, Sara El-Yafi.

  2. Malek Fares · December 16, 2014


  3. Basma Alshaar · December 16, 2014

    Thanx for sharing this uplifting story of our common denominator: HUMANITY

  4. Souha Tarraf · December 16, 2014

    Great post and analysis dear Sara. Thanks for your human and calm approach, simply.

  5. Gail Antabi · December 16, 2014

    Wish the whole world could read this

  6. Asad Abukhalil · December 16, 2014

    Ya`ni ya Sara, if it was not for this Muslim man or another Muslim man, Muslims would only receive love and affection from the West? And how come all the war crimes of Israel never affect how Western countries and people treat either people from Israel or even Jews in general? The status and perception of Muslims should be unrelated to the individual acts of Muslims anywhere.

    • Sara El-Yafi · December 16, 2014

      I agree with your last sentence. But “should” is a big word, dear Asad. There are too many things that should be in this world and are not. There are many things that the Arabs “should” be doing by today and are not, there are many things the “West” should stop doing by today and it is not, there are many things I “should” be doing right now other than floating on Facebook, but reality is different. However, when someone comes along and does something that is beyond the common currency of selfishness and ignorance, when someone comes along and finally does what they “should” do in the name of a greater good, I praise it in hope that you might comment so I can show people that I know you. Sort of.

      • Asad Abukhalil · December 16, 2014

        Yes, Sara: but this idiot criminal should be held responsible for his action, and no one else besides him. (I think you meant to say “dear Asad” and not “dead Asad”).

        • Sara El-Yafi · December 16, 2014

          Yes yes! I’m completely with you! I don’t think we disagree here, we are on the same team; it’s called team win. ( I fixed the typo/ sorry!)

        • Sara El-Yafi · December 16, 2014

          And by the way Asad, to address your initial Israeli question, “how come all the war crimes of Israel never affect how Western countries and people treat either people from Israel or even Jews in general?” Because Israel’s war crimes are aimed at Arabs, not the West. No one cares about the Arabs, not even the Arabs. But if Israel starts dropping its white phosphorus on New York and London, then I think the West will start bullying men wearing yarmulkes even if those men did not drop the bombs. After all, the West did a lot worse to the Jews than mere bullying for a lot less than terrorism. Don’t underestimate the racism of the West. It is aimed at everyone, including themselves.

          • Asad Abukhalil · December 16, 2014

            On the second point, Sara. I disagree. The US has a history of covering up Israeli crimes against even Americans. Take the Liberty ship, or even take cases of American citizens being killed by Israeli terrorists. They are always swept under the AIPAC carpet.

          • Sara El-Yafi · December 16, 2014

            That’s also true… The first that comes to mind is Rachel Corrie. But who said Americans cared about Americans? Look at how many died at the hands of Americans, and people bully the dead instead of the alive… Look at the war veterans, the pharmaceutical industry, the tobacco industry just a decade ago, the NRA, the gunners’ victims… Zionist America is one of them. In any case, I think we both agree that Islamophobia definitely supersedes any other religio-phobia in the west today. But nobody has dethroned the racism against African-Americans, whom I don’t even know why we call “African Americans” while we don’t call a white American “European-American”. The US is still a long long way from being a harmonious loving place both on the inside and on the outside.

          • Asad Abukhalil · December 16, 2014

            Dear Sara: you and I are on the same page. I don’t want to leave the impression that we are not, comrade.

  7. Abul-Hasanat Siddique · December 16, 2014

    Well said, Sara El-Yafi!

  8. Wassek El Yafi · December 16, 2014

    Très beau geste qui mériterait un développement dans l’intérêt de tous.

  9. Tanya Kassem · December 16, 2014

    You are so great, Sara El-Yafi. Your writing gives me chills.

  10. Joumana El-Yafi · December 16, 2014

    Like! like Suoer LikeAmazing writing daughter as usual! Truly your posts and articles should be read by the entire world!I wish you would lead the world with your humanity,beliefs,and approach to our ailments! maybe it will gain some Sanity!!!!I love you and admire you Sara El Yafi!

  11. Joumana El-Yafi · December 16, 2014

    Sara beautiful Sara,your mind and way of tackling issues,doubts and controversies is so civilised Grand,knowledgeable,Irrefutable!
    Strong in your honesty,intelligence and transparency !You are always right!And this is Right!Your writings can make humanity do much better!Your posts that make so much difference in our ailing superficial world should be liked and shared by millions to make their lives,their minds and that of their surrounding a better place!
    Keep up a unique spirit,You make a huge difference! Love you too much ,God bless you

  12. Sabrina Rogers-Anderson · December 16, 2014

    Thanks for sharing this with the world, habibti. As an Aussie now, I sometimes shudder at the racism of some, but am also extremely proud of moments like this.

  13. Nadeem Marc Haddad · December 16, 2014

    Amazing post

  14. Youmna Naufal · December 16, 2014

    I love both Sara’s post – and Mrs. Joumana Yafi’s posts. Priceless 🙂

  15. TK Karam · December 16, 2014

    Today talban numbskulls have sieged a school in Pakistan and reportedly butchered 100 kids. Have some confidence that these kids aren’t Hasidic Jews, Maronites or Jedi. These reactionaries that should have gone the way of the dodo, have no hesitance in targeting Muslims first. The story you shared illustrates so eloquently why ALL non-dodos need to stand together, support one another, refuse to be sucked into the sinkhole of fear and face this chronic madness. Standing idly by is no longer a luxury we can afford. Write on Sara!

  16. Joumana El Yafi · December 16, 2014

    Everybody should share and share hard !!Such a great story,what a fantastic civilised example to follow!Bravo Aussies,bravo Rachael Jacobs for your amazing gesture that marked a precedent,Bravo Tessa Kum for establishing a movement that deserves a standing ovation!!!Amazing “Ill ride with you”who put to shame again every racism,fanaticism,intolerance,incomprehension of others and all forms if hatred!
    Finally Sara El Yafi we are all so proud of you to constantly and tirelessly awaken us to what is lost in this new world:Live ,real compassion and Humanity!
    God Bless you my darling daughter!

  17. Rabih Rached · December 19, 2014

    Noble initiative to accompany a veiled woman to make her feel safe & accepted

  18. Tarek Zeidan · December 19, 2014

    to be honest i always had an impression of the Australian public as overwhelmingly xenophobic, very happy to be proven wrong!

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