Hundreds of protesters marched against Sharia law, a group of principles that govern the moral and religious lives of Muslims.
Two far-right groups, the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters, are to provide security at some of the anti-Shariah demonstrations, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups.
Demonstrators gathered to protest against Islamic law take part in a rally on Sat., June 10, 2017, in NY. The group claims Sharia law, which is not in effect in the United States, is a threat to Americans.
But the overwhelming majority of Muslims don't want to replace U.S. law with Islamic law, known as Sharia, and only "radical extremist groups" would call for that, said Liyakat Takim, a professor of Islamic studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
The protests happening in more than 20 major cities, including Chicago.
The "March Against Sharia" was organised to highlight what the protesters insist is a rise in the oppression of women, so-called honour killings and anti-gay violence in America. 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.
For years, Act for America and Gabriel have spent years spreading fear of Muslims and stripping them rights afforded to the followers of the other faiths.
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Counterprotester and Austinite Daisy Rios said she believed the anti-Sharia movement has been "co-opted by the alt-right". ACT protesters in San Bernardino yelled as they rushed a group of counterprotesters shortly before fists began to fly. Counter-protesters gathered as well.
"...is really just another way of being anti-Muslim and in our country we are a nation of immigrants".
But what is bad, she says, needs to be reformed like what other religions have already done. Counter-protesters banged on drums and shouted "Racists, racists go home!"
It could in fact be stated that Sharia law does not exist as Americans think of law, as a coded set of rulings set down by a single authority.
Demonstrations against Islamic law Saturday in cities across the US drew counter-protests by people who said they stoked unfounded fears and a distorted view of the religion.
"We learned something about Islamic culture, we had singing and dancing and showing different cultures, different faiths", he said. Standing in opposition to the group were a much larger group holding signs that read "We stand against hate and bigotry" and chanting "No hate".