President Obama praises #Illridewithyou campaign

President Obama called Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott late Tuesday to offer assistance in the aftermath of the hostage crisis in downtown Sydney.

{mosads}The White House said the president also complimented the Australian people for their embrace of a social media campaign to support the country’s Muslim population.

“The President expressed condolences on behalf of the American people to the families that lost loved ones, and his wishes for a speedy recovery to those who were injured,” the White House said in a statement.

Two hostages and a gunman were killed early Tuesday as authorities stormed a downtown Sydney cafe. Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee with a history of violent crime and mental instability, had taken a large group hostage inside the restaurant 16 hours earlier. Two other people were injured.

During the prolonged standoff, an anti-Islamophobia effort known by the hashtag #Illridewithyou went viral in the country, earning praise from Obama. Social media users posted that they would share cars and public transportation with Muslims in a show of solidarity

“Noting the Australian public’s embrace of #Illridewithyou and the Muslim leaders who have disavowed the actions of the hostage taker, the President also praised Australia’s rejection of any violence taken in the name of religion and the fear this violence seeks to stoke,” the White House said.

Earlier Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry also called Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to express condolences over the terror attack.

“The secretary also commended the New South Wales police and the other emergency personnel who responded to the crisis and offered Australian authorities any and all assistance necessary as they continue their investigation,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Tags John Kerry

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video