Rally in Atlanta against Islamic law meets counterprotests


Some marchers against Sharia law chanted "gay rights" at one time and said they opposed Islam's treatment of women, but the executive director of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center said he didn't appreciate the association.

The protests were organized to memorialize the anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, where a gunman of Muslim faith shot dead more than 50 gay revelers.

Southern Poverty Law Center, which is generally recognized as an authority on domestic issue of prejudice and discrimination, classifies ACT for America as an extremist group.

While many around the USA protested against Sharia Law Saturday, people of different faiths and cultures came together Saturday evening to celebrate a Muslim holiday.

"We're not anti-Muslim", chimed in Jack Smith, 20, a San Jose grocery store clerk.

"Sharia law is against our freedom. Young girls being mutilated by a Muslim doctor in MI".

Liyakat Takim, a professor of Islamic studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, said most Muslims don't want to replace USA law with Sharia, and that only "radical extremist groups" would. "ACT for America is the largest anti-Muslim grassroots network in America and they are promoting Islamophobia across the board".

"This is where I grew up". The gathering was conversation based; a lot of people were there chatting with each other and holding sings that said have a 'Blessed Ramadan, ' 'Peace Be Upon You, ' and a sign in Arabic that says: 'All are welcome here'. Across the honking traffic were many who interpreted the message from a different angle.

"People are being run over in the street with trucks and little kids are being blown up", Sleater said, referring to recent attacks in London and Manchester. "He's got to be stopped".

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This is a march against Sharia law and for human rights.

It wasn't immediately clear if there were any arrests or injuries.

Through downtown Seattle, hundreds marched banging drums, cymbals, and cowbells with signs saying "Seattle stands with our Muslim neighbors".

Harsh words from anti-Sharia demonstrators led to pushing and shoving, the newspaper reports, and one counter-protester kicked an anti-Sharia demonstrator, which led to further fighting.

Rally participants and a handful of counter-protesters appeared Saturday in Atlanta's Piedmont Park.

On one corner, a group of about 50 counter-protesters shouted messages such as "Love, not hate".

Marches against Islamic law have drawn larger counter-rallies in some US cities.

Back in San Jose, Bruce Bramlett, a reverend at Saint Jude's Episcopal Church in Cupertino, said he's hasn't seen this much hate and division since he marched against war in the 60s. "I don't think that it's fair to scapegoat innocent people", Westfall said.

"Radical Islam is a cancer that will destroy the world if we don't confront it and defeat it", Schildmeier said.