Last month ACT for America organized 28 anti-Sharia rallies across the United States, one in Roseville, California, near the state capital of Sacramento. ACT described the demonstration as “against Sharia law and for human rights.” According to their statement:
“We, at ACT for America, are committed to protecting women and children from Sharia Law and its impact on Muslim women and children including honor killing and Female Genital Mutilation. We must ensure that every woman and child enjoy the protection afforded by the U.S. Constitution.” Sharia law is “incompatible with Western democracy” and the rally contended that those who practice Sharia law cannot assimilate into American culture.
Protestors from ANSWER, the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism coalition, included organizer Jamier Sale. As he told reporters, “We’re here because this anti-sharia march sounds more like a march against Muslims.” The event was peaceful and prompted a dialogue of sorts.
Mairaj Syed, an assistant professor of Religious Studies at UC Davis, explained that Sharia law can “differ from person to person,” because of differing interpretations of the Quran. Sharia “kind of regulates behavior,” but honor killings and child marriages were examples of “outdated and extremist forms of Islam.” For Syed, ACT was ascribing such acts to “all Muslims at all times.”
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