Counter-protests against nationwide anti-Sharia law rallies became violent

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Americans across the country Saturday held rallies protesting the infestation of Islamic Sharia Law in America, and they attracted the attention of scores of counter-protesters who decried their fears as “racist” and “Islamophobic.”

In downtown Seattle, for example, hundreds of people protested the anti-Sharia rallies by banging drums, cymbals and cowbells as they walked behind a large sign stating, “Seattle stands with our Muslim neighbors.” They chanted, “No hate, no fear, Muslims are welcome here” as they marched towards City Hall to confront the dozens of anti-Shariah protesters gathered there.

Despite the strong presence of bicycle police officers who tried to keep the two sides separated during the sanctioned events, authorities said a large fight broke out afterwards. Seattle police had to disperse the violent crowd with tear gas and ended up arresting several people. It’s currently unclear how many were arrested and what charges they might face, but police said that they expect to book some of the protesters on assault charges.

When a group of approximately 30 people gathered in front of the Trump building in downtown Chicago to demonstrate against Islamic law with signs that read “Ban Sharia” and “Sharia abuses women,” twice as many counter-protesters appeared across the street.

Over in New York, pro-Muslim supporters blasted air-horns and banged pots and pans in their efforts to drown out an anti-Sharia rally that was being held in a local park. The same sort of scene took place in St. Paul, Minnesota, where state troopers arrested approximately seven people for clashing with anti-Sharia demonstrators at the state Capitol.

Standing next to demonstrators wearing colorful earplugs, New York counter-protester Tony Murphy declared, “The theme of today is drowning out racism. The more racists get a platform, the more people get attacked.”

Organized by ACT for America, the rallies were held in more than two dozen U.S. cities to bring attention to the fact that Islamic law is incompatible with Western democracy. ACT for America opposes discrimination and supports the rights of those subject to Sharia law.

“I don’t believe Islam can peacefully co-exist with the Constitution,” said Seattle anti-Shariah demonstrator Aaron Bassford, 29. “We need unity in this country under no ideology and no banner except the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Liyakat Takim, a professor of Islamic studies at McMaster University in the Canadian city of Hamilton, Ontario, claims that most Muslims don’t want to replace U.S. law with Islamic law, stating that only “radical extremist groups” would call for that.

Takim explained that Sharia refers to guidelines or principles regarding how Muslims should live. “The Quran allows slavery. So does the Old Testament. That doesn’t mean we allow it today, too,” Takim said. “Laws are amenable to change.”

An “Ask an American Muslim” booth was set up in Seattle as a way to give people the chance to speak with a Muslim.

“American Muslims support the American values and freedoms we all cherish,” said Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Anti-Sharia rallies were staged in a handful of California cities, including San Bernardino, where an ISIS-inspired jihadist couple killed 14 people and wounded 22 in 2015. Demonstrators marched past the building where the shootings took place.

“There’s an anti-Trump, a pro-Trump, anti-extremists, so there are a variety of messages here,” San Bernardino police spokeswoman Eileen Hards said of the approximately 300 protesters who attending the rallies. “There are so many messages going on that I’m not sure who’s who.”

According to anti-Sharia law protester Denise Zamora, 39, “We’re anti-Shariah. We’re anti-radicals.” She noted, “[Sharia law] is coming in very slowly, and a lot of the refugees are bringing that ideology here. All of it is just barbaric.”

What was truly barbaric was the jubilant reaction liberals had when it was reported that one of the anti-Sharia marchers in New York City suffered a fatal heart attack during the event.

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