USA

Rallies against Islamic law draw counterprotests across US

Rallies against Islamic law draw counterprotests across US

People hold up signs during a rally to support muslims rights as a counter protest to an anti-sharia law rally origanized by ACT for America on June 10, 2017 at Foley square in NY.

The rallies were held in more than two dozen U.S. cities, including Boston.

Anti-Islamic law demonstrators marched past the Inland Regional Center building where the shootings occurred on December 2, 2015.

Similar protests and counter-protests also happened in St. Paul, Minn., where authorities arrested several people "when scuffles broke out", the AP reports, and New York City, where counter-protesters banged pots and pans in an effort to drown out "anti-sharia" demonstrators.

"I don't think Muslims are here to impose Sharia law on anybody".

However, Jamier Sale of ANSWER believes ACT's cause was a hateful one, targeting all those who practice Islam.

On the steps of the Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg, barricades and a heavy police presence, including officers mounted on horses, separated about 60 anti-sharia demonstrators from an equal number of counter-protesters.

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But these backers of "ACT for America" - the organizer of the March Against Sharia event - say they want to warn people about it now so Sharia law doesn't take over.

Shariah is a set of religious laws, part of the tradition of Islam. Hundreds of people pledged on social media to attend an event that ACT billed as "March against Sharia".

The rally began around 10 am and saw heated moments between Anti-Sharia law proponents and Anti-Trump counter protesters.

"In the public domain, Muslims are not required or expected to impose their laws on the country in which they live as the minority", Takim said, adding there has never been an understanding "that the same laws would be applicable at all times in all places".

A right-wing group protesting Islamic law, or Sharia law, clashed with counter demonstrators in Seattle, Minneapolis and other cities.

"We need to remember that we're strong when we're united", said the USA representative Debbie Dingell, a Democrat who hails from Dearborn, Michigan, where roughly 40 per cent of the residents are Muslim.

The marches come amid a rise in reports of anti-Muslim incidents in the United States, including arson attacks and vandalism at mosques, harassment of women wearing Muslim head scarves and bullying of schoolchildren.

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Scholars say there's little to no threat to US democracy from Islamic law.

No arrests were made at the San Bernardino rally and there were no reports of violence, according to the Press-Enterprise.

But it was noisy, with groups chanting, yelling and waving American flags and posters proclaiming various issues.

"There are so many lovely elements to it. (People) like to pick the hateful ones to support (their) own message", Omsaf added.

He says only "radical extremist groups" would call for that.

"Many people are anxious and saddened and very shocked, but we still hope to be able to practice and to be part of the Eugene community", Williams said as the locksmith worked next to him.

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