Anti-Sharia law march met by opposition across United States

Alvin Kelly
June 12, 2017

Civil rights groups are expressing concern that a wave of anti-Muslim sentiment is fueling the growth of right wing extremism across the United States, citing dozens of anti-Sharia demonstrations across the USA this weekend and an ongoing uptick in online recruitment. The department said it was still reviewing how many people were arrested and what charges they might face.

The rallies were a big flop as they were met with thousands of counter-protesters.

In Chicago, around 30 people demonstrated against Shariah while around twice as many people participated in a counter-protest held across the street. If you feel unsafe "walking around in a hijab, try being a conservative on a college campus", Pax Hart, who organized the NY march, said. During one fight, protesters threw water bottles at police officers, and officers used pepper spray. A line of police officers separated the groups. "The theme of today is drowning out racism", said NY counter-protester Tony Murphy, standing next to demonstrators with colorful earplugs.

Both sides chanted their slogans, with the protestors claiming they were standing for human and women's rights while the counter protestors declared that Muslims were welcome in the community. No injuries have been reported.

"The protesters were a bit rowdy", Thompson said.

"Again, it shows that the idea here is hate groups like Act For America know exactly what they're doing", said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR. Four people were arrested for loitering. 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.

"American Muslims support the American values and freedoms we all cherish", said Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

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"I honestly think that these are just a bunch of people who haven't done well in life and they're trying to compensate by taking pride in the achievements of people of their own race", said Brock Neumann, a 19-year-old man who said he is half black and half white. In New York, masked anarchists tried on multiple occasions to get past the police cordon into ACT for America's rally, prompting one arrest, as ACT's speakers blasted the counterprotest as violent "idiots", "liars" and "Marxists", from a stage adorned with the American flag.

"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.

Organizers called the "March Against Sharia" rallies to protest what they say is the threat to US society posed by the set of traditional Muslim practices, which they say includes oppression of women, honor killings, homophobic violence, female genital mutilation and other abuses.

The word Sharia means "the path," or "a road that leads one to water".

Shariah, Takim said, refers to guidelines or principles - how Muslims should live.

Shariah is the Islamic religious law derived from the Quran and the traditions of the prophet Mohammed.

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