Rallies against Islamic law draw counter-protests across US

Rallies against Islamic law draw counter-protests across US

March Against Sharia protests occurred in at least two dozen cities including Houston, Seattle, Chicago, and New York City and were organized by ACT For America.

But the overwhelming majority of Muslims don't want to replace USA law with Islamic law, known as Sharia, and only "radical extremist groups" would call for that, said Liyakat Takim, a professor of Islamic studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

"So often, counter protests are focused on hating them more than they hate us", she said.

ACT for America said that the event was, "This is a march against Sharia law and for human rights". The rally was an alternative for people who didn't want to protest the anti-Sharia marchers at the capitol, he said. Instead, sharia law is more a set of guidelines through which a Muslim is expected to live a virtuous life, comparable to the Ten Commandments.

The March Against Sharia gained prominence a few weeks ago after two men were fatally stabbed on a Portland commuter train, allegedly by a man shouting anti-Muslim slogans at two young women, one of whom was Muslim. He called on the organizers to cancel the event voluntarily while also making clear that the city would refuse to issue permits for the rally. Its founder, Brigitte Gabriel, claims that "every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim", that Muslims are a "natural threat to civilized people of the world, particularly Western society", and that a "practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, can not be a loyal citizen to the United States of America". However, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, calls it the largest American anti-Muslim group.

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Others were simply people who came to say their piece. "I think it is indicative of how Americans are truly feeling, and how we need to welcome our neighbors", Jodeh told CBS4's Dillon Thomas.

The demonstration comes after central IN religious community leaders condemned a billboard on I-465, which protesters said they did not put up. "However, many aspects of Sharia law run contrary to basic human rights and are completely incompatible with our laws and our democratic values".

"In our religion, we're told to respect the rules and the laws of the country that we're in", said Tamara Zafer.

A similar scene played out in a park near a NY courthouse, where counter-protesters sounded air-horns and banged pots and pans in an effort to silence an anti-Sharia rally. The event is one of 28 anti-Sharia demonstrations in the United States. The anti-Muslim demonstrators derided the counter-protesters as out of touch elites. Authorities say three people were arrested for obstructing law enforcement. In the same lecture, she was reported to have said Muslims shouldn't be allowed to hold public office.

- An anti-Sharia law protest met an anti-Muslim hate counter protest in San Jose across Stevens Creek Road on Saturday morning and despite the rhetoric, remained peaceful.

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"The billboard is a symptom of increasing incivility towards Muslims", Charlie Wiles, the executive directer for the Center for Interfaith Cooperation, said during a press conference Friday.

All of which thrilled the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which helped organize numerous national counterprotests. A Briton who moved to the United States, he said he had made a decision to go after recent attacks in his home country.

This spring, after Van Duyne opted not to seek a third term as Irving's mayor, President Donald Trump selected her as a regional administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, overseeing federal housing programs in Texas and four surrounding states. They consider the Portland and Eugene incidents, and other recent anti-Muslim crimes in America, part of an alarming trend that came to the forefront in last year's presidential election with far-right activists portraying Islam - and all Muslims - as a threat.

In a somewhat confusing video advertising the Austin protest, Morris said she had been visited by Iranian students as a child.

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