#illwalkwithyou hashtag in solidarity to Muslims after killing of US imam

The hashtag began trending shortly after two Muslim men were murdered in New York

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Social media users showed solidarity when they unleashed their #illwalkwithyou hashtag after a US imam and his assistant were fatally shot in New York Saturday.

Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and his assistant, Thara Uddin, 64, were shot from behind by an unknown gunman while walking home from the Al-Furqan Jame mosque in a Queens neighborhood.

The shooting worried a Twitter user from Brooklyn, New York, when he said “no one should feel unsafe in this city” while using the hashtag to show his support.

In another show of solidarity, from the US state of Nevada, a Twitter user said: “Muslim friends in the Las Vegas area, #illridewithyou or #illwalkwithyou. Peace be unto you.”

#illridewithyou was a trending hashtag in 2014, when an Australian resident noticed woman sitting next to her on the train silently removing her hijab, fearing xenophobic comments during a militant attack in Sydney.

Some users, however, described the social media campaign as “presumptive” as there is “no indication yet” if the attack was a hate crime targeting Muslims.

The police, who are currently searching for the culprit, said the motive behind the attack is still not known.

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