#illridewithyou is trending again after the Queens mosque shooting

Picture:  Kena Betancur/Getty
Picture: Kena Betancur/Getty

On Saturday afternoon two Muslims were murdered in Queens, New York, and Americans have been showing solidarity with Muslim citizens by offering to walk with them to mosque.

The two men who were murdered, Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin, were shot two blocks away from the Al-Furqan Jame Mosque, where they had been praying.

In solidarity, fellow New Yorkers have been using the social media campaign hashtag #IllWalkWithYou.

As well as a gesture, the idea is to offer anyone going to and from a mosque company, in an effort to make them feel safer.

The idea for the campaign appears to have been inspired by the Australian #IllRideWithYou, which followed the Sydney cafe siege in 2014. Lexi Alexander, a filmmaker and former world karate and kickboxing champion, appears to have been the first to adapt the Australian hashtag for American use.

The campaign has also been used by residents of US cities other than New York, such as Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.

Akonjee and Uddin's murderer has yet to be apprehended and police are still investigating whether the attack constituted a hate crime. On Sunday Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement which said:

While we do not yet know the motivation for the murders of Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin, we do know that our Muslim communities are in the perpetual crosshairs of bigotry.

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