Religion

Upcoming Anti-Sharia Law Rallies Worry Muslim Leaders

| by Michael Allen

Muslim leaders are concerned about anti-Sharia law rallies that are scheduled to take place in multiple U.S. cities on June 10.

Sharia law does not exist in the U.S., but ACT for America, which refers to itself as "the NRA of national security," is heading up the marches anyway.

"This is a march against Sharia law and for human rights," ACT for America writes on its website. "Our nation is built on the freedom of religion -- a pillar of our democracy -- which we must always respect, protect, and honor. However many aspects of Sharia law run contrary to basic human rights and are completely incompatible with our laws and our democratic values."

Former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn told The Associated Press why he will attend a counter-rally against ACT for America on June 10: "Our Muslim community is feeling a tremendous amount of stress and pressure. It's important for local leaders to express solidarity and make clear we stand against bigotry, against racism and with our Muslim neighbors in the state and beyond."

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ACT for America said it opposes religious bias, and is "proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with peaceful Western Muslims as well as peaceful Muslims worldwide."

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, said the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers, both far right wing organizations, are going to provide security at the anti-Sharia rallies: "With the recruitment of anti-government groups and the Proud Boys, the potential for violence increases."

The founder of ACT for America, Brigitte Gabriel, has a history of making anti-Muslim statements, noted The Atlantic in March.

Gabriel reportedly attacked the Islamic religion in her 2008 book "They Must Be Stopped."

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"Islam has created and unleashed an uncontrollable wave of hatred and rage, on the world, and we must brace ourselves for the consequences," she wrote. "Going forward we must realize that the portent behind the terrorist attacks is the purest form of what the Prophet Mohammed created. It’s not radical Islam. It’s what Islam is at its core."

Gabriel said in 2007 that practicing Muslims cannot be loyal U.S. citizens: "If a Muslim who is a practicing Muslim who believes the word of the Koran to be the word of Allah, who abides by Islam, who goes to mosque and prays every Friday, who prays five times a day -- this practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America."

She also attacked Khizr Khan, a gold star parent whose service member son died in Iraq, for holding a U.S. Constitution during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, reported the news magazine: “Waving the Constitution, is a misrepresentation when one’s religion teaches that it and any other man-made law, for that matter, are to be removed and superseded by the Quran."

Sources: ACT for America (2), AP via ABC News, The Atlantic / Photo Credit: Hayden Schiff/Flickr

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