Wide Angle

USA : Are the Anti-Sharia marches against Islam ?

Anti-Sharia protesters took the streets in several cities across the USA to oppose Islamic laws. Organized by Act for America, the marches considered Sharia a threat for the USA and its culture. However, the Council of American-Islamic Relations says that the rallies were «hateful anti-Islam marches».

Anti-Muslim group plans marches in dozens of cities across the US.Ph/ Eric Gay/AP
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Demonstrators in New York, San Bernandino, Seattle, Minneapolis and Calif. took the streets in anti-Sharia marches that were organized by an activist group called «Act for America». On Saturday 10th of June, the anti-Islamic law protesters were met by counter-demonstrators who «yelled and sounded horns to drown out the anti-Sharia group», as the CNN reports.

According to the same source «a right-wing group protesting Islamic law, or Sharia, on Saturday clashed with counter-demonstrators in Seattle, Minneapolis and other cities» as they chanted fiery speeches against Shariaa and Muslims. In an article published by the Washington Post «in rallies in San Bernardino, Calif., New York and Seattle, columns of police moved in multiple times to separate rival protest groups as they shouted expletives at each other». The same source states that the March entitled «the March Against Sharia» was attended by several nationalists who seek an America without Sharia.

No Sharia for America

Speaking to the Washington Post, Francisco Rivera a spokesman for Vanguard America said that he doesn’t «believe in having Muslims in the United States». Joseph Weidknecht, a 25-year-old construction worker who participated to the march in Austin told the American newspaper that «there’s rampant rape happening because of Syrian immigrants, and we have to stop that from coming to America».

Brigitte Gabriel, the founder of Act for America, an organization that works on «recruiting, training, and mobilizing citizens community by community to help protect and preserve American culture and to keep this nation safe», told the same source that «she is anti-sharia, not anti-Muslim». However, Gabriel declared that Sharia is «in America» and that they are «seeing girls being killed simply for wanting to wear makeup».

As reported by StarTribune, Scott Presler an activist working for Act pointed out that they «Are here to protect our communities and educate them on the issues and get them to call their legislators and pass legislation that protects women and other victims of Sharia».

Against Sharia or Islam

Act for America indicates on its official website that it is working on preserving the American culture. The group founded in 2007 is assigned with the task of «continuing to expand its nationwide volunteer network that trains citizens to recognize and help prevent criminal activity and terrorism in the United States while preserving civil liberties protected by the United States Constitution».

On the other hand, The Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil rights and advocatory group headquartered in Washington D.C., denounces the marches maintained by the right-wing group. Contacted by Yabiladi, Ibrahim Hooper, the National Communications Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) stated that «the marches were against Islam» adding that the protesters «covered up against their hate».

Hooper pointed out that «the hate marches were smaller when compared to the number of counter-demonstrators who took the streets on Saturday». The council, as reported by Ibrahim Hooper, has seen the «rise of hate crimes against Muslims and minorities» in the USA.

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