Rallies against Islamic law draw counter-protests across US

Tina Ray
June 13, 2017

Organizers called the "March Against Sharia" rallies to protest what they say is the threat to USA society posed by the set of traditional Muslim practices, which they say includes oppression of women, honor killings, homophobic violence, female genital mutilation and other abuses.

Protesters who gathered on Saturday to denounce Islamic law were met across the country with equally sized or larger counter-protests. The rally was an alternative for people who didn't want to protest the anti-Sharia marchers at the capitol, he said. The SPLC cites ACT founder Brigitte Gabriel saying that a practicing Muslim who believes in the teachings of the Koran can not be a loyal citizen of the United States among other, similar remarks.

In some cases, those against Sharia law showed up to the rally armed with guns, like those who gathered at a Richardson, Texas, mosque.

"We're also for the United States Constitution as it reads to protect your right of freedom of speech", Randy Kemp, with Act for America, said. But the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, calls it the largest American anti-Muslim organization.

"He's got his finger on the atomic bomb", Wechsler said. "However, many aspects of Sharia law run contrary to basic human rights and are completely incompatible with our laws and our democratic values".

Hundreds across the United States rallied yesterday in "Marches against Shariah", protesting the perceived threat of radical Islam to American civilisation.

Hundreds of counter-protesters marched through downtown Seattle, banging drums, cymbals and cowbells behind a large sign saying "Seattle stands with our Muslim neighbors".

An imam stood with the mayor, the Observer reported, and tried to assure anyone anxious about sharia law being forced on the United States.

Similarly, the NBC News online report stressed "In New York City, about 100 protesters and more than 200 counter-protesters traded words in downtown Manhattan as police officers stood between the groups". The Los Angeles Times cited legal experts who said there's no legal way to implement Sharia law - or other foreign criminal or civil codes - in the United States, and to do so would be a violation of the separation of church and state. "We are paying taxes and contributing to this country - not taking away", said Ahmad, a property manager. A Briton who moved to the United States, he said he had chose to go after recent attacks in his home country. I saw people on both sides of the street actually wearing uniforms, a lot of military militia-style fatigues on the pro-Trump anti-Sharia side of the street.

The rally was one of more than two dozen held across the US on Saturday to target the notion that extremist interpretations of Islamic law might somehow infect American democracy. Some have blamed Trump's harsh rhetoric on Islam for the uptick in anti-Muslim activity, arguing that the president has normalized such behavior.

All of which thrilled the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which helped organize numerous national counterprotests.

Shpendim Nadzaku, the center's imam and resident scholar, said of the protests, "They are anti-Mulsim".

Shariah is the Islamic religious law derived from the Quran and the traditions of the prophet Mohammed.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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