Anti-Shariah Marches Take Place Across The U.S.

The protests, organized by ACT for America, were planned for more than 30 cities on Saturday

Counter-protesters confront protesters at an anti-Shariah rally in Seattle, Washington. — REUTERS
Jun 10, 2017 at 2:52 PM ET

Marches against Islamic law took place in more than 30 cities across the United States on Saturday. The demonstrations were criticized by rights groups, and inspired a host of counter-protests.

The anti-Shariah protests were organized by ACT for America, a grassroots organization dedicated to “national security and defeating terrorism” in the U.S. The organization, considered by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group, billed the nationwide marches as events dedicated to human rights, saying that many aspects of Shariah law “are completely incompatible with our laws and democratic values.”

Scenes of marches around the country were captured on social media on Saturday. In many cases, anti-Shariah demonstrators were largely outnumbered by counter-protesters and anti-fascists.

A day before the marches kicked off, a coalition of 129 organizations sent a letter to 29 mayors across the country to ask them to condemn the demonstrations, which coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“We are deeply concerned about the type of message that these protests send to the American public and to the good people in your city — that it is acceptable to vilify people simply because of their faith,” the groups wrote, as quoted by the Guardian. “We, the undersigned national and local civil rights, faith-based, and community organizations, ask that you use your voice as an elected representative of your city to reject bigotry.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, meanwhile, on Saturday urged “Americans of all faiths and backgrounds to take part in local peaceful educational events and activities in response to anti-Islam rallies planned nationwide.”

According to the Guardian, at least one event in Portland, Oregon, was cancelled. Two men were fatally stabbed in the city after they tried to defend two Muslim women from a man who was hurling threatening insults at them.