The nation’s largest anti-Muslim organization will demonstrate in Seattle this month to march against Sharia.
Act for America’s March Against Sharia event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 10 at Westlake Park. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray calls the “reprehensible” event a “hate march” against Muslims, but also said the group will be allowed to demonstrate as it is their First Amendment right.
Anthony Parish with Act for America argues that the event is not anti-Muslim.
“We’re not against people, we’re not against Muslims,” Parish said. “We’re against this barbaric ideology called Sharia.”
A similar march was planned for Portland, but organizer Joey Gibson opted to combine his event with Seattle’s to bolster the numbers there. Gibson also organized the Pro-Trump rally during Seattle’s May Day this year. He told KIRO Radio’s Jason and Burns that he plans for a peaceful event, but is aware that angry people will want to show up.
“If something happens, it happens,” Gibson said. “I’ve just given it all up to God.”
“I know the plan was to have a couple speakers … talk about the effects of Sharia law, the fact that Muslims are the number one victim of Sharia law,” he said. “This is not anti-Muslim. Talk about women’s rights, gay rights, that kind of stuff. Then we’re going to go for a march.”
According to Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Council on American–Islamic Relations, an event opposing Sharia, yet claims not to be anti-Muslim is a contradiction.
“Sharia is Islamic teachings,” Bukhari said. “People pray at home, love their parents, take care of their parents. It’s the reason why many Muslim women wear headscarves.”
“It’s the same way if someone said, ‘We’re against African-American culture, but we love African-American people,'” he said. “The average person will see right through it.”
Behind the March Against Sharia
Despite Parish and Gibson’s claims that the event is not anti-Muslim, Act for America has an anti-Muslim track record. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the group the largest anti-Muslim organization in America. It is founded by Brigitte Gabriel, a Conservative activist who fled conflict in Lebanon. She reportedly has publicly stated that a practicing Muslim cannot be a loyal American. She argues that Judaeo-Christian culture in America is “under assault.”
The group calls itself the NRA of national defense and aims to train people to recognize and “prevent criminal activity and terrorism in the United Stated while preserving civil liberties…” Its goal is to mobiles citizens to “protect and preserve American culture and to keep this nation safe.”
The group’s website states opposition to refugees. It also boasts about its activism halting Islamic schools and preventing businesses from recognizing Muslim holidays, and opposing the effort to build a mosque near ground zero in New York.