Rick Ellis yells at Muslim attendees of Muslim Capitol Day in Austin, Tex., in January. Sharia commands Muslims to follow the law of the land, unless it directly contradicts Sharia.
Waterbury will be on the national stage Saturday morning, when anti-Sharia law and pro-Muslim groups will gather in front of City Hall.
The marches set up the potential for more public clashes between far-right activists and their far-left opposition, similar to recent violent encounters between the political extremes in Berkeley, Calif. and Portland, Ore. I agree with the constitutional structure that we have in the United States, and almost every American Muslim you ask would say the same thing.
ACT said its supporters plan to march Saturday in front of state capitol buildings in almost half a dozen states, including Texas, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
"Part of the rally will be a march that goes toward City Hall, but there is no plan to have a confrontation".
Organized in part to memorialize the anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, the marches aim to raise awareness of what ACT sees as the negative effects of Muslim immigration to the United States. By protesting Sharia, they protest the human rights it espouses. The group has not planned a march for the nation's capital.
ACT for America spokeswoman Sandy Frazier has said that genital mutilations, so-called "honor killings", and "violence toward women and members of the LGBTQ community" by Islam is the reason for the demonstration. But it also covers a lot of things that we would not call law, like manners or good behavior or ethics or morality or even ritual worship. Sharia is also subject to a wide range of interpretations.
"Our Muslim community is feeling a tremendous amount of stress and pressure", said former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who plans to attend a counter-rally Saturday. He describes ACT for America as a group fighting against terrorism.
You might think the title of this article is a little alarmist and click-baity, but this is only because we are using something that all knuckle-dragging, micro-phallus fascists hate: logic.
CNY Solidarity Coalition rejects the mischaracterization of Sharia, and demonization of our Muslim neighbors by ACT for America and allied groups. (The equivalent of ACT for America's outrage might be somebody saying they are opposed to Christianity because of its widespread speaking in tongues, snake-handling, and rejection of modern medicine in favor of healing prayer.) But best of all is Pulver's response to accusations that Muslims practice childhood marriage and rape 9-year-old girls.
Two other groups in Syracuse have announced counter rallies.
Secondly, they and their institutions are not seeking or asking for the type of Sharia that ACT for America is opposing.
But some folks from both groups told Q13 News they worry the rhetoric could get out of hand.
"What is wrong with a country that spreads fear and hatred when someone wants to defend what it stands for?" she said.
Franklin "Frankie" Asbury, 17, said she noticed several social media posts from people who were angry about the ACT rally, so she created a Facebook event page for a counter rally.
"They don't make that distinction when they're talking amongst themselves and when they're taking to their base", said Sunsara Taylor, a New York-based organizer with Refuse Fascism, which was founded the month after Donald Trump was elected president.
ACT for America is the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in America, claiming 280,000 members and over 1,000 chapters, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks hate groups.