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Rallies against Islamic law draw counter-protests across US

12 June 2017

(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle). Demonstrators gathered to protest against Islamic law take part in a rally Saturday, June 10, 2017, in NY.

They organized the march claiming that Sharia goes against human rights and democracy while stating that it was done to protect women and children who had been mutilated or worse under Sharia law.

Hundreds of counter-protesters marched through downtown Seattle, banging drums, cymbals and cowbells behind a large sign saying "Seattle stands with our Muslim neighbors".

Sharia "is a legal or philosophical code derived from Islamic scripture and meant to guide the behavior of observant Muslims", as NPR's Tom Gjelten noted.

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

Saturday, counter-protesters made sure their message was seen, too. Just across the street, a larger and more vocal group of around 75 people chanted at them, "Racists out!"

"This is the internet in real life, everyone giving you a thumbs up or thumbs down, but now we get to look you in the face, and all you know how to do is make f*cking noise", shouted Paul Bazile, a production designer for Proud Boys magazine, in the direction of the counter-protesters. Asma Elhuni, of the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, criticized the "anti-sharia" protesters. Four arrests were made during the rally, all of them on the pro-Muslim side, and Oath Keeper Frank Morganthaler was removed in an ambulance after going into cardiac arrest. "Because essentially that is Sharia", she told Bandlamudi. The demonstrations prompted security fears at mosques across the country and come at a time when hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise.A coalition of 129 national and local organizations amplified concerns on Friday in a letter urging mayors to denounce the marches, which also coincide with Ramadan, the holy month in which Muslims fast during the daylight hours. "While they were speaking, counter-protesters were trying to drown them out using bullhorns and noise makers". "Shame! Shame!" and described the opposing demonstration as anti-Muslim bigotry, Mann reports. The SPLC cites ACT founder Brigitte Gabriel saying that a practicing Muslim who believes in the teachings of the Koran can not be a loyal citizen of the United States among other, similar remarks.

SEATTLE (AP) - Demonstrators at small but raucous gatherings around the country Saturday raised the specter that extremist interpretations of Islamic law might somehow spread across the USA, but numerous rallies drew even more boisterous counter-protests by people who called such fears unfounded.

Shariah is the Islamic religious law derived from the Quran and the traditions of the prophet Mohammed. Separated by a police barricade, the anti-Sharia protesters, some of whom were also masked and carried handguns, sang "America the attractive". "This is a march against sharia, not Muslims", Steven R. Moore, of Washington County, Pa., told The Washington Post. Now, more than ever, we must come together and support one another from viewpoints and groups that seek to divide us. About twice as many counter-protesters marshaled across the street.

Three people were reportedly arrested after a large fight broke out, according to the Seattle Police Department.

"They are calling them "Anti-Sharia" rallies, but let us call them what they are: "Anti-Muslim" protests", Linda Sarsour, renowned American Muslim activist and Women's March organizer, wrote on Facebook.