Anti-Sharia rallies this weekend worry Muslim leaders

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Anti-Muslim marches are slated to take place in dozens of cities across the United States on Saturday, with several counterprotests expected.

Some posts on the Facebook page indicate plans to confront the anti-Muslim rally, but Kim says the group doesn't condone any rabble-rousing. What a powerful message that would be, even if it's not precisely the message rabble-rousers on both sides might wish to convey. These rallies are not against Sharia; they are rallies against the Muslim community.

Saturday's nationwide "March Against Sharia", sponsored by a group known for aggressively criticizing Islam, has in recent days become a rallying cause for right-wing extremists, forcing march organizers to repudiate some of their own supporters and prompting concern about clashes with militant leftists. Among the 129 signatories to the letters, which were organized by a group called Muslim Advocates, are the Union for Reform Judaism, Bend the Arc, the Anti-Defamation League, the National Council of Jewish Women and Jewish Voice for Peace, as well as the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, an umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups.

The organization will host rallies in almost 30 cities across the U.S on Saturday in what it says is a fight against radical Islam and in particular, violence against women and honor killings.

Q: If you could explain one aspect of sharia to the protest organizers, what would you tell them?

Lean: These bases of support, which often meet in people's living rooms or at local coffee shops, have served to strong-arm local politicians, and [have] sown an anti-Muslim ideology amongst anxious [mothers and fathers] in the heartland. Going forward we must realize that the portent behind the terrorist attacks is the purest form of what the Prophet Mohammed created. Sharia is a rule of barbaric law masquerading in the name of religion.

Hammoud said the bill would do nothing to discourage female genital mutilation, which is a cultural practice and not a part of Sharia. The practice is common in some conservative Muslim societies, but many Islamic scholars insist it is not mandated under Sharia law.

Then again, the self-styled militia members, alt-right trolls, racists, xenophobes, and misogynists who show up to events like this "March Against Sharia" are now almost indistinguishable from the people who run our country.

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San Bernardino police said they would be ready should issues arise.

As for Parish's assertion that Sharia can be separated from Muslim people, Bukhari responded, "We see bias in that". "We will keep our distance, we will respect their rights", said Gibson.

The anti-Muslim group ACT for America is holding what it says will be at least 28 events across the country on Saturday as part of what it's calling a "March Against Sharia - March for Human Rights".

"The opportunity to say they stand with the Muslim community and they stand with their Muslim neighbors", said Rev. Mike Denton with the United Church of Christ.

"We are planning to have a large showing of love visuals in the same neighborhood (north and east edge of Paradise Valley Park) from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. - so we can soak the neighborhood in love before the hate (and heat) moves in", she writes on Facebook.

We are praying for the city of Houston to lead the way in proving that people of all backgrounds can live together peacefully and work together for the common good. We condemn the June 10 event promoting Islamophobia, and urge community members to educate themselves about Islam (see resources below).

"This is just another hate group, I believe it's another anti-Muslim group...this this the holy month of Ramadan, we celebrate that in Lansing...we celebrate all the cultures and all the religions, all the people that make up Lansing", said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.