Anti-Sharia law protesters met with opposition in Santa Clara

Anti-Sharia law protesters met with opposition in Santa Clara

Anti-Sharia law protesters met with opposition in Santa Clara

But while there is little likelihood that Shariah would ever supplant USA law, some states have already moved to insulate themselves against the possibility. A group of bicycle police officers separated them from dozens rallying against Shariah.

Police in Seattle used pepper spray and made several arrests for assault after a brief scuffle near the city's Occidental Square, according to ABC affiliate KOMO-TV.

About 30 demonstrators stood to one side of a street holding signs that read "Ban Sharia" and "Sharia abuses women". Just below the plaza, hundreds of counter-protesters filled a block of Fourth Avenue, drowning the group out with chants, music, and banging pots and pans.

A similar scene played out in a park near a NY courthouse, where counter-protesters sounded air-horns and banged pots and pans in an effort to silence an anti-Shariah rally.

It is one of several demonstrations planned in more than 20 cities, including New York, Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Atlanta. Wielding signs proclaiming America in imminent danger from the spectre of Sharia law, spotty collections of demonstrators popped up in cities like New York, Orlando Austin and Seattle.

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Inayat Malik, board member of the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, said the protest against his religion is the first of its kind since the center, which is highly visible off Interstate 75, opened in 1995.

"Their beliefs do not abide by the Constitution of the United States, so our job today is to educate people to make them understand", he said.

A "March Against Sharia" drew crowds of protesters and counter-protesters to the Minnesota State Capitol Saturday, along with a heavy police presence.

"They call it an anti-Sharia rally but it's actually disguised as ... an anti-Muslim rally", Mustafa Nizam, who took part in the counter protest says.

Demonstrations took place across America as small but militant groups from notorious hate group ACT for America took place under the banner of a "March Against Sharia Law" on Saturday. They call ACT for America a recognized hate group.

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"I don't believe Islam can peacefully coexist with the Constitution, " said Seattle anti-Sharia demonstrator Aaron Bassford, 29.

"We all need to unite to get something done in this country".

Liyakat Takim, a professor of Islamic studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada, said Islamic law plays a role similar to Christian and Jewish law; as a guide to religious life rooted in the Quran. The former Muslim now Christian-convert says parts of Sharia aren't healthy or safe. "Fiqh" refers to jurisprudence, or specific laws. The counter-protesters yelled and sounded horns to drown out the anti-Sharia group, CNN affiliate KOMO reported. "Really if anything, we're at risk of fascism being imposed on America", said Raphael Kadaris, speaking for a group called Refuse Fascism.

Participants anxious that Islamic law could influence USA courts and harm women, among other concerns.

The "March Against Sharia" rallies come amid a spike in reports of anti-Muslim incidents across the United States.

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