Rallies against sharia draw counter-protests across US

About 5 p.m.the anti-Shariah group began walking through Civic Center park, surrounded by police and yelling counter-protesters.

People gather at a protest near the Santana Row shopping center.

A small but emotional rally billed as opposing Islamic Sharia law downtown Saturday sparked a counter-protest almost twice as large, causing a phalanx of police officers to act as a barrier between the two groups to prevent any fights.

The marches 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.

It is worth noting that the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) has long regarded ACT as an anti-government hate group. Stay up-to-date with Virginia Beach Today.

The Muslim community - including here in Colorado - is planning to host several community events "to peacefully respond to these bigoted rallies by opening our doors to meet our community and recommit ourselves to diversity, acceptance, resilience, and compassion for people of all faiths and backgrounds".

The march was one of several across the country organized by ACT for America. Counter protesters also showed up nearby.

The rallies were held in more than two dozen USA cities, including Boston. Numerous counter-protesters said they were also seeking to stand against President Donald Trump's travel ban, which seeks to block travel from several majority-Muslim countries into the U.S. The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to review the ban.

The counter protest organizers said they did not expect such a large turnout in the march to the Capitol. "Well radical Muslims are killing their own people".

"It is not imposed on others; it's observed in line with the laws of the land", AbuTaleb said. Minnesota State Police made seven arrests as fights broke out during demonstrations at the state Capitol in St. Paul.

Demonstrations took place across America as small but militant groups from notorious hate group ACT for America took place under the banner of a "March Against Sharia Law" on Saturday.

The Saturday rallies in Chicago occurred near a building developed by President Donald Trump. She was looking at a group of counter-protesters gathered at the sidewalk skirting Broadway.

"What is happening outside, in the false guise of freedom of speech, is actually sadly terrorism, intimidation and blatant racism and hate", said Imam Shpendim Nadzaku.

"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.

Heather Frederick said she came to stand up against hatred toward the "most vulnerable people in our communities", like Muslims.

"It's how you get married", Fouladi said.

Bill Hart a member of the Industrial Workers of the World union said he came to the Capitol because he believes Muslims in Minnesota are under attack. ACT for America often promotes this legislation.

In San Bernardino, police spokeswoman Eileen Hards told a reporter, "There's an anti-Trump, a pro-Trump, anti-extremists, so there are a variety of messages here".

GARON MURPHY-BABSON: I really don't think that these people are going to protect my rights.

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