Anti-Shariah rallies planned across US worry Muslim leaders

Erica Roy
June 10, 2017

Officially called the "March against Sharia", it's less about "Sharia law" - a non-issue in the United States, where it is illegal - than it is about getting Islamophobes whipped up into a fury about this tiny minority. According the Act for America Facebook page, more than 100 people plan to march at the Minnesota State Capitol on Sunday at noon. A news conference is schedule for 12:30 p.m. John Conyers and Debbie Dingell.

Dozens of what are being billed as "anti-Sharia marches" are scheduled for this weekend in 28 cities in 20 states nationwide. Lansing Mayor Virgil Bernero signed on. A Symposium on Sharia is in the making, and Republican Congressman Pete Sessions and Democratic Congressman Andre Carson have initially agreed to support this initiative. In fact, based on evidence gleaned from a reader, at least one Michigan GOP precinct delegate is helping organize the march.

The Michigan Conservative Coalition - the group behind the organized statewide rallies supporting President Donald Trump both during and after the 2016 election cycle - is partnering with ACT for America on the Michigan events. "We stand against female genital mutilations and child marriages".

A member of alliance told that the rally is still on, but declined to say how many people plan to attend. "It's all about those poor women".

There are Muslims in the world that condone some of these practices, Abbas said, but they are few and far between in this country, and nearly certainly none of them are a part of the community at the Islamic Center of East Lansing.

We will speak out and show up for everyone against the unjust targeting and discrimination of people because of the color of their skin, the faith they practice, or the origin of their family. So they understood that they were fallible and they were not speaking for God. This risky religious group should absolutely be stopped from selling 4th and 5th grade girls into sex slaves to adult male rapists!

Jews and Christians say they're prepared to stand up for a religion that is not their own, but for rights they believe in. How influential is ACT for America within this network?

Bukhari said CAIR will sponsor an "Ask a Muslim" booth at the ACT for America rally to answer any questions and dispel myths "in hopes that we might have some communications".

"We urge you to issue an official statement to reiterate to the people of your city that every person is welcome and has the right to feel secure regardless of how they worship, where they're from, or who they love".

This is not a response to the march, organizer Phoebe Hopps said, founder of the Michigan Women's March. These are the people Roosh V recruits for his men's rights bullshit. It's ably summed up here in an excerpt from the letter we mentioned earlier: Between 2014 and 2015, Federal Bureau of Investigation data indicates that hate crimes against Muslims increased by 67%. These are things that are a modern phenomenon that everyone is wrestling with and Muslim scholars and public are wrestling with it in the same way that the other religious communities are.

Al Jazeera spoke to Nathan Lean, author of The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims, about ACT for America and the prevalence of Islamophobic sentiment in the US. In addition, several mosques around the country have been targeted by arson. "Nobody's targeting refugees, nobody's targeting Muslims".

Jewish groups across the spectrum have generally opposed bids to ban sharia law, arguing that Muslim Americans apply sharia in much the same way Orthodox Jewish communities apply halacha, or Jewish law, through religious courts: to grant divorces and to settle disputes of religious matters, while always deferring to civil courts.

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