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Rallies against Islamic law draw counter-protests across US

12 June 2017

"I don't understand why they want this", said one woman, who declined to give her name. "America as we all know is a country of immigrants, its built on diversity".

Cathy Camper, of Tacoma, Wash. wears a stars-and-stripes cowboy hat as she protests against Islamic law at a rally Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Seattle, as counter-protesters demonstrate across the street. "I think the stand here is Sharia law is not compatible with the constitution and we believe in many places it's starting to creep in", anti-Sharia activist Donald James said. Some of the alt-right extremists followed the march and were allowed by police to start some fights-after which Seattle police arrested only the anti-fascists who had been attacked. They came from as far as San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

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.

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.

The gathering of more than 300 people was mostly quiet, until a confrontation among ACT for America attendees and opponents began outside, near the state's Centennial Office Building.

The group organizing the rallies across the nation, ACT for America, says Sharia is incompatible with Western democracy.

At one point during the New York City march, populated by only a few dozen demonstrators, organizer of the march, Pax Hart, expressed no sympathy for the fears of hijab-wearing women.

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

Officers used fencing and bicycle officers to keep the opposing groups separate during the loud but mostly peaceful protests. But numerous rallies drew even more raucous counter-protests by people who called such fears unfounded.

Protesters scuffle at the state capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota. Some of the protesters carried assault rifles, but rules dictated that they remain unloaded.

ABC News obtained a statement from an ACT for America spokesperson responding to the critics.

Tension grew throughout the afternoon as hundreds of people clashed outside the State Capitol Saturday during the planned "March against Sharia" rally and a protest meant to counter it. Meanwhile, hate cries against Muslims have been on the rise.

Part of the original group of the Muslim supporters marched back to Occidental Square in Pioneer Square, where the speeches continued. This isn't limited to the United States.

Rallies against Islamic law draw counter-protests across US