Sharia law protest organizer says things could get violent Saturday

Jun 9, 2017, 6:43 AM | Updated: 11:24 am
A protester is detained by Portland police during a demonstration. A rally called “Seattle March Against Sharia" that was originally scheduled there has moved to Seattle. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)
(Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)

Two competing rallies are planned for Seattle on Saturday, one against Sharia, a cornerstone of the Islamic faith, and the other pro-Muslim.

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ACT for America’s rally begins at 10 a.m. at City Hall Plaza. Organizers say they’re taking a stand against Sharia, which they say is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution.

The event was originally scheduled for Portland, but the city’s mayor urged organizers and officials to cancel it after a deadly confrontation on a light rail train, during which two men were killed trying to protect two women — one wearing a hijab.

Anthony Parish of Kent, the organizer for the “Seattle March Against Sharia,” told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson the rally is just “to make people aware about what’s going on in the world.”

“Of course, female genital mutilation, the treatment of women in Islam,” he said.

The other march, called “Seattle Stands with our Muslim Neighbors,” seeks to bring the community together in solidarity with Muslims. They call ACT for America a recognized hate group.

That march is scheduled for 9 a.m. in Occidental Park. Organizers say they will march to City Hall or wherever ACT for America sets up.

Wednesday night at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound Iftar dinner, many religious leaders told KIRO 7 they plan to be present in downtown Seattle to counter the anti-Sharia march.

Parish says it’s incorrect to assume that his march is trying to stir up trouble.

“That’s wrong,” he told Dori. “The motivation for this rally is love. We love the American way, we love the Constitution. We are for liberty and justice for all.”

However, Parish says he expects violence, but from another group: the “Antifa crowd.” Antifa — anti-fascism — are known for wearing black masks and marching in events such as the May Day rally in Seattle.

“That’s the nature of the Antifa,” he said.

You can hear the entire interview with Parish here.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has condemned the march against Sharia.

“To think that people would come to Seattle and have a hate march against Muslims is reprehensible, but under the First Amendment we’re going to respect their right to free speech,” he said.

The Seattle Police Department will maintain a presence during the two events.

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

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Sharia law protest organizer says things could get violent Saturday