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Australians Suggest Chaperoning Muslims Fearing Backlash After Sydney Siege

© Fotobank.ru/Getty Images / Joosep MartinsonCatherine Burn, Deputy Commissioner of the Specialist Operations speaks to the media
Catherine Burn, Deputy Commissioner of the Specialist Operations speaks to the media - Sputnik International
Australians have suggested accompanying local Muslims to work in case they are afraid of being targeted on the streets after a Sydney cafe siege on Monday.

Armed policeman are seen outside Lindt Cafe. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW, December 15 (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, several people in the Lindt café in Martin Place in Sydney, Australia, were taken hostage by a gunman but the siege is reportedly already over.

Australians, using the hashtag #illridewithyou on Twitter, are offering to accompany Muslims wearing religious attire on commuter trains or buses, with drivers ready to offer people a ride in their cars.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott - Sputnik International
Australian PM Says Proud of Police Response to Hostage-Taking in Sydney

The campaign on Twitter has been launched over the fears that anti-Muslim sentiments may spread after the Arabic writing "There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah" was seen on a black flag pressed against the window of the Lindt cafe earlier.

Several Muslim groups in the country have condemned self-proclaimed Iranian sheikh Man Haron Monis, who is allegedly responsible for the siege, in a statement describing the inscription on the flag as a "testimony of faith that has been misappropriated by misguided individuals".

CNN reported that at least two people died during the siege, but the report is yet to be officially confirmed.

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