Arrests made at anti-Shariah rally in Seattle

Tomas Mccoy
June 13, 2017

The group organizing the rallies across the nation, ACT for America, says Sharia is incompatible with Western democracy.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, the demonstrations were mostly peaceful until some people leaving a rally inside the Capitol encountered counter-protesters outside. Cathy Camper, of Tacoma, Wash. wears a stars-and-stripes cowboy hat as she protests against Islamic law at a rally Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Seattle, as counter-protesters demonstrate across the street.

But Liyakat Takim, a professor of Islamic studies at McMaster University in the Canadian city of Hamilton, Ontario, says most Muslims don't want to replace US law with Islamic law, known as Shariah.

On Friday, an alliance of faith-based and human rights organizations invited people from all backgrounds to gather at the Capitol to stand against the planned ACT for America rally and its message.

The other main speaker, Alex, who would not give his last name when asked by a reporter, calling the News & Observer "fake news", said he was a former Muslim who immigrated to the United States from a Middle Eastern, predominantly Muslim country.

But while ACT claims to be a national security advocacy group, other organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center call ACT an "Anti-Muslim" group which targets refugees and Muslims in general.

Others were simply people who came to say their piece. However, the fact that the counter protestors outnumbered the protestors indicates that many believe that the threat of anti-Muslim hatred and racism remains a bigger threat than Sharia law. But what did the counter-protesters tell you today?

"Nothing is going to surprise us", Whitcomb said.

As Muslims make up less than 1 percent of the United States population, the idea that Sharia law could become commonplace may seem odd.

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.

"(I came) to show that female mutilation, honor killings and wife beatings are barbaric and should not be allowed in this country, which is what Sharia law would do", she said. "If I run from America and the dark things happening here, where do I have to go?"

The Act for America group, labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, organized almost two dozen rallies Saturday called "March Against Sharia".

About 30 demonstrators stood to one side of a street holding signs that read "Ban Sharia" and "Sharia abuses women".

Clusters of protesters and counter-protesters gathered on four corners of an intersection at a memorial to the slain. Many also wore "Make America Great Again" hats and held signs supporting President Donald Trump. While ACT's official policy statement declares that it does not "tolerate any bias, discrimination, or violence against anyone, based on their religion, gender, race, or political persuasion", it has a long history of trafficking fear-based policies against Muslims at both the federal and state levels.

Jodeh said local Muslims took the high road by avoiding the protest.

Act for America has been obsessed with Shariah law and began a campaign against it in 2008.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

Discuss This Article