Published: Sun, June 11, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

'Anti-Sharia' Marchers Met With Counter-Protests Around The Country

In Harrisburg, Steven Moore, 35, said he joined the march because the Islamic State extremist group is trying to impose Sharia in America.

He said "we're here because ACT for America planned an anti-Shariah law rally and it is a very veiled attempt at an anti-Muslim rally and we're here to oppose hate and bigotry in our community".

"We believe that Muslims just like any religious background are a part of our community and we want to stand in togetherness and solidarity with them", said Korn.

Saturday's demonstration was one the largest protests against Islam put on by "Act for America".

Harsh words from anti-Sharia demonstrators led to pushing and shoving, the newspaper reports, and one counter-protester kicked an anti-Sharia demonstrator, which led to further fighting. Protesters at the western steps of the State Capital claimed Shariah calls for the abuse of women and has no place in America.

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Participants anxious that Islamic law could influence USA courts and harm women, among other concerns. A native of India, Ramaswami said she was dismayed about the level of distrust Islam generates in the United States.

On its website, Act for America, which sponsored the rally, calls itself "the NRA of national security".

However improbable the establishment of Shariah law in America may be, ACT for America and allied groups have attracted broad populist support by vowing to stamp out the threat.

Several cities saw counter-protests to the anti-sharia law rallies. Pax Hart, the organizer of the New York City rally told his audience, referring to the gathering of hundreds of leftist activists and masked anarchists across the street.

Local police officers closely controlled the demonstrators and issued a few warnings but there were no arrests.

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"No hate, no fear, Muslims are welcome here", they chanted, accompanied by horns, pots and pans.

Opponents of anti-Shariah demonstrations being held around the country Saturday say the events stoked unfounded fears and a distorted view of the religion. Williams also posed for pictures with a militia group and called on attendees to "unite against Shariah law", the SPLC said. The department said it was still reviewing how many people were arrested and what charges they might face, but at least some were expected to be booked for investigation of assault.

The day started with the pro-Muslim and pro-immigrant group chanting for equality while holding anti-Trump signs at Wacker and Wabash, directly across from Trump Tower. But that didn't stop her from pushing for passage of an American Laws for American Courts bill in the Texas Legislature. Aneelah Afzali, who heads a Seattle-area group that works against discrimination and hate crimes, said she will also be putting up an "ask a Muslim booth" so people can ask questions directly about Islam, and dispel any misconceptions.

Meredith Payne, a 44-year-old who lives in West Rogers Park, said she lives among a large Muslim community that's respected and loved by others there.

Anti-Muslim incidents rose 57 percent past year, including a 44 percent jump in anti-Islamic hate crimes, CAIR said in a report released in early May.

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