The SPLC calls ACT For America organizers “hypocrites” for “March Against Sharia” rallies – The belief that Sharia law is infiltrating the United States is a tactic the far-right has used to instill a fear against Muslims among those who aren’t familiar with Islam and to push forward Islamophobic policies. For example, in July, former 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said that any Muslim who believes in Sharia should be deported. Other anti-Muslim figures like conservative radio show host Mark Levin have claimed Sharia law has already creeped into the country, claiming that “free speech under attack. Non-Islamic religions under attack, in many respects. You can see the gays under attack.”
For a rally broadcasted as a march “for human rights” and one that seemingly touts the empowerment of women and minorities, its organizers and headliners do not. Instead, Saturday’s anti-Sharia demonstrations bear all the qualities of events organized by noted misogynists, militiamen and white nationalist groups.
‘March Against Sharia’ protests take place nationwide | TheHill – The group leading the march describes itself as “the NRA of national security”, and has been labeled an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Marches took place in over 20 cities, including New York, Chicago, and Austin, with many counter-protesters and civil rights activists holding their own counter-protests simultaneously.
Despite being one of the largest nationwide events coordinated by Act for America, which more than 520,000 members, the events reportedly had slim attendance. Facebook event pages for marches in Indianapolis and Chicago had under 70 people who RSVP’d, though more could have attended.
According to a report by NBC News, more than 100 protesters and 200 counter-protesters clashed in downtown Manhattan Saturday morning.