Counter-protests outnumber anti-Muslim hate marches across the US

The rally was organized by ACT for America, which claims Islamic law is incompatible with Western democracy.

Despite today's large crowd, everyone protested peacefully and fortunately no one was hurt.

"I would say I follow Sharia law in day-to-day life, and it doesn't run counter to the Constitution", she said Friday.

"I believe we are all one and I do not believe in division, I believe in love, I believe in equality and I do not like the bigotry and I mean...this is ridiculous", Vermilya stated.

Act for America founder Brigitte Gabriel has been quoted as stating that a "practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, can not be a loyal citizen of the United States".

While people came and went from both groups, at noontime dozens of anti-Shariah protesters faced scores of counter-demonstrators across the street.

ACT for America, a self-described grassroots organisation focusing on national security, staged the so-called "anti-Sharia" rallies in New York, Chicago, Boston, Denver and Seattle, as well as many smaller cities. Counter-protests, affirming solidarity with the Islamic community, also took place.

Outside, as temperatures hovered around 90 degrees, opponents said the rally represented bias against Muslim-Americans and called for racial unity. Instead, he urged them to "try being a conservative walking around on a college campus". They don't want us in their country. "The more racists get a platform, the more people get attacked". Members of ACT for America yelled "No Sharia in America" while the counter protestors yelled "Say it loud, say it clear Muslims are welcome here".

Activists take part in the "March Against Shariah" on June 10, 2017 in New York City.

In other parts of the country, downtown Seattle saw hundreds marching, banging drums, cymbals and cowbells behind a large sign saying "Seattle stands with our Muslim neighbors".

About 40 people gathered at Mount Trashmore on Saturday afternoon. About twice as many counter-protesters marshaled across the street.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, the demonstrations were mostly peaceful until some people leaving a rally inside the Capitol encountered counter-protesters outside.

With the anti-sharia group inside, about 300 counterprotesters demonstrated on the front steps of the Capitol.

Pax Hart, who organized ACT for America's march, railed against the political left and the media, labeling the counter-protesters as Marxists.

On the other corner, 48-year-old James Murphy parked his black truck adorned with phrases on it such as "ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS DEPORT THEM ALL" and "ALL I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ISLAM, I WITNESSED ON 9-11" beside Shariah protesters.

ACT claims that it does not hate Muslims and disavowed a volunteer organizer in Arkansas who was affiliated with white supremacist groups.

  • Julie Sanders