Rallies Against Islamic Law Draw Counter-Protests Across US
Rallies Against Islamic Law Draw Counter-Protests Across US
13 June, 2017, 11:37
Protesters said they were denouncing sharia law and promoting human rights, while anti-protesters showed up to say refugees are welcome and denounce what they call hate.
The local event's Facebook page urges anyone who stands for human rights to join the march arguing, "Sharia is incompatible with our Constitution and with American values". In Chicago, about 30 people demonstrated against Islamic law in front of a Trump-branded building, shouting slogans and holding signs that read "Ban Sharia" and "Sharia abuses women".
An overwhelming majority of Muslims don't want to replace US law with Shariah, and only "radical extremist groups" would call for that, Liyakat Takim, a professor of Islamic students at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, told the Associated Press. Although the organization insists it doesn't oppose discrimination, it is clear that its protests gather together people who are opposed to Islam in principle.
But the overwhelming majority of Muslims don't want to replace US law with Islamic law, known as Shariah, and only "radical extremist groups" would call for that, said Liyakat Takim, a professor of Islamic studies at McMaster University in the Canadian city of Hamilton, Ontario.
Southern Poverty Law Center classifies ACT for America as an extremist group, saying it is "far and away the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in America". "Europe is under attack now", said anti-Sharia protester Tara Hepler, 25, a student from New Paltz. About twice as many counter-protesters marshaled across the street. "We were born in the United States and we're going to stay". But this didn't happen either, as counterprotesters shouted her group down for most of the event's four-hour duration.
Among those in the counterprotest was Mohamad AbuTaleb, the imam at the Islamic Association of Raleigh, who said the notion that Americans were under threat of Sharia law was ridiculous. He said that Sharia law allows homosexuals to be killed and oppresses women as well as men.
"The theme of today is drowning out racism", said counter-protester Tony Murphy, standing next to demonstrators with colorful earplugs. 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.
As several dozen people protested against Islamic law in Silicon Valley on Saturday, across the street hundreds of counter-protesters chanted and held signs calling for peace - filling opposite sides of an intersection that separates Santa Clara and San Jose, much like the divide in national politics. In the Capitol rotunda in St. Paul, speakers told more than 100 people about the dangers of lax immigration, the potential influence of Sharia law and the need to protect the U.S. Constitution.
Mike Lacey of Harrisburg protested the anti-Sharia march, although he wasn't dressed in black like most other participants.
Morris said Muslims were welcomed in the United States.
"I think it's ridiculous in this day and age to be protesting a religion", she said. I'll update this post when we know more. Some have blamed Trump's harsh rhetoric on Islam for the uptick in anti-Muslim activity, arguing that the president has normalized such behavior.
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