Rallies against Sharia Law draw counter-protests in KC, across the US

ACT for America is the group that organized the almost two dozen rallies against Islamic law that took place across the country.

But Liyakat Takim, a professor of Islamic studies at McMaster University in the Canadian city of Hamilton, Ontario, says most Muslims don't want to replace USA law with Islamic law, known as Shariah. Counter-protests, affirming solidarity with the Islamic community, also took place.

"The participants chanted slogans, accusing" anti-Sharia" marchers of racism and Islamophobia.In Atlanta, Georgia, a small group of demonstrators gathered in Piedmont Park to protest against the Sharia.

No violence was reported in New York City, where about 500 people gathered in Foley Square, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said. Soon, dozens of anti-Sharia law activists started their own rally across the street, protesting what they say are certain aspects of the religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. Pro-Trump people told me that this idea of Sharia is sort of a shorthand, a symbol of where they think the country might go if more Muslim refugees and immigrants arrive.

The actions in Seattle took on extra significance because the Portland June 10 ACT demonstration was shifted to Seattle in the aftermath of the killing of 2 men who stepped up in defense of a Muslim teen and her friend on the Max train in Portland.

"They believe that Muslims are trying to implement Sharia law in this country and totally replace the Constitution, which is impossible".

"We want to send a message to Muslims that they are not welcome in our communities", One local march organizer said during a podcast on Wednesday.

In Austin, dozens of anti-Sharia protesters carried American flags and signs claiming that Islam "enslaves women" and is a "death cult".

"Their beliefs do not abide by the Constitution of the United States, so our job today is to educate people to make them understand", he said.

There were some quick confrontations and police made four arrests. "They have no rights".

In St. Paul, Minnesota, state troopers arrested about a half-dozen people when scuffles broke out at the close of competing demonstrations at the state Capitol.

"When somebody shows hate or bigotry our religion teaches us to repel it with something good", he said.

The protests were organized to memorialize the anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, where a gunman of Muslim faith shot dead more than 50 gay revelers.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, calls ACT for America one of the largest anti-Muslim groups.

Outside, as temperatures hovered around 90 degrees, opponents said the rally represented bias against Muslim-Americans and called for racial unity.

  • Salvatore Jensen