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U.S. Marches Against Shari’a Law Met By Counterprotests

An Acehnese woman in Indonesia is caned by a religious officer for spending time in close proximity to a man who was not her husband, a crime under Shari'a law, in February.

Protesters in several U.S. cities rallied against Shari’a law, the legal code of Islam, often being met by similar numbers of counterdemonstrators, according to organizers and local officials.

Participants in the June 10 rallies said Shari’a law poses a threat to freedom in the United States, but critics say the protests are based more on anti-Muslim bias.

The rallies organized by ACT for America, a group that says it focuses on national security, were held in New York, Chicago, Boston, and several smaller cities.

In Seattle, hundreds of counterprotesters banged drums, cymbals, and cowbells while carrying a large sign saying, "Seattle stands with our Muslim neighbors." They chanted: "No hate, no fear, Muslims are welcome here."

Police kept them separated from the March Against Shari’a protesters. Reuters news agency reported that about 75 anti-Shari’a demonstrators were outnumbered by counterdemonstrators.

In Chicago, in front of the Trump building, some 30 people demonstrated against Shari’a law and in support of President Donald Trump, shouting and carrying signs saying, "Ban Shari'a" and "Shari'a abuses women."

In St. Paul, Minnesota, officials said six people were arrested when scuffles broke out during competing demonstrations.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters