NY Anti-Islamic Law Rally, Counter-Protest Face Off

ACT for America activists believe Islamic law is largely incompatible with American democracy and basic human rights, and they often warn of a surreptitious effort to replace us law with Sharia.

At the San Jacinto Battleground in LaPorte protesters rallied against Sharia law, while counter-protesters gathered in support of Muslims.

Several counter-protesters were "anti-fascist" or "antifa" activists, who "dressed in black masks and hoods and chant [ed] 'No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA, ' " Reuters reports, a slogan modified from a 1980s punk song.

Those people, along with thousands of others in cities across the US, were protesting the law over feats that it might somehow spread across the country.

Competing rallies about Islam, particularly the religion's rules known as Sharia law, evolved from peaceful marches to shouting matches near the beach in Oceanside on Saturday. "It's against human rights".

Tensions ran high at dueling demonstrations across the street from Trump Tower in the Loop where a small group of anti-Muslim protesters and Trump loyalists were met by a larger group of counter-protesters for what was called a "march against Sharia".

KRON4's Philippe Djegal attended the protest and said though attendees held different views they all supported a freedom of speech. "That doesn't mean we allow it today, too", Takim said.

A lawyer and spokesman for the Richardson Islamic centre in Dallas, Khalid Hamideh, said the notion that Muslims sought to impose Shariah law on America was "absolute nonsense".

"As a white male with privilege, I'm not risking a whole lot as the Muslim community would be risking their life and livelihood as we have seen in Portland", said Adler.

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At one point during the New York City march, populated by only a few dozen demonstrators, organizer of the march, Pax Hart, expressed no sympathy for the fears of hijab-wearing women.

But critics say the organization vilifies Muslims and has repeatedly equated Islam with extremism.

"The constitution is the law of the land", said a protester in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

But it was noisy, with groups chanting, yelling and waving American flags and posters proclaiming various causes. "But we respect their right and we have a right to disagree with what they are doing", said Malik, a former board president of the center.

Anti-Islamic protester Jeremiah York of West Chester Twp. described himself as a "Christ-fearing patriot" as he marched back and forth near the entrance of the center's grounds.

Outside, as temperatures hovered around 90 degrees, opponents said the rally represented bias against Muslim-Americans and called for racial unity.

The marches also come amid a rise in reports of anti-Muslim incidents in the US, including arson attacks and vandalism at mosques, harassment of women wearing Muslim head coverings and bullying of Muslim schoolchildren.

"There's an anti-Trump, a pro-Trump, anti-extremists, so there are a variety of messages here", Hards said.

It wasn't immediately clear what prompted the clash between protesters and counter-protesters in Seattle, and the violence appeared to subside relatively quickly. "There are so many messages going on that I'm not sure who's who".

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