Good morning, especially, to my Australian readers.
I have been filled with pride since yesterday. I have been so impressed with you all. Why, you ask? Well, for this reason:
The man, whom I will not name because he does not deserve to get famous, had a few run-ins with law enforcement before this, from being arrested in connection to his wife's murder to writing offensive letters to the families of Australia service men and women serving in the Near East. He was not a good man. He was also Muslim.
Anyone of sound mind know the two are in no way related. It is easy, in seeking blame and retribution for the terrible things that go on in the world, to blanket an entire culture, or religion, or ethnicity, or even skin colour as one thing or another; to make the other appear evil. That is simply not the case.
Yesterday, at the end of the hostage situation and despite the anger it will undoubtedly engender, ordinary Australians made it clear that they knew that one swallow does not a spring make... which is to say, one evil man does not all of Islam make. They started the #illridewithyou twitter campaign, offering their presence to any Muslim Australian who felt unsafe travelling in Australia in the wake of the events in Sydney... because some people are stupid and would attack people not even remotely associated with the events simply because they happened to be Muslim.
It is a really sad statement that Muslim groups all around the country were and are bracing for violent backlash.
And then the twitter campaign happened, and I almost cried.
To those wonderful people who began the campaign, and to those who joined it and volunteered your time to ensure your fellow Australians were safe, I am so, so, so in love with you right now. You have made this ex-pat so, so, so very proud and grateful.
This is the humanity I know we are all capable of. Are you watching, rest of the world? This is how humanity is done.
So, ordinary Australians, thank you for making me believe in humanity again. You are awesome.