DENVER – Denver police plan to keep watch over the March Against Sharia rally at the Colorado State Capitol on Saturday, after counter-protest organizers said they’re ready to defend the Denver Muslim community against what they called a “hate-filled agenda.”
The rally, which is just one of 28 others planned in cities across the United States, was organized by ACT for America, a group that claims its focus is to fight terrorism and promote national security.
The local event’s Facebook page urges anyone who stands for human rights to join the march arguing, “Sharia is incompatible with our Constitution and with American values.”
The group, which the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in America,” cites honor killings, female genital mutilation and child marriages as reasons to stand up against Sharia, or Islamic law.
Muslim leaders across the country, including here in Colorado, are concerned about the rallies, saying the rallies are not against Sharia Law but against Muslims.
“These rallies are occurring during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and seek to vilify Muslims and strike fear in the hearts of Americans that Shariah Law is coming to the US at a time of heightened anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States,” said Iman Jodeh, a spokesperson for the Colorado Muslim Society.
Organizers of Defend Denver Against “National March Against Sharia,” who will counter-protest the nationwide rally, agree.
“This assumption comes from misconceptions and fear with regards to the faith of Islam. We are asking for your support and your help to defend our Muslim brothers and sisters. Show our state that we will not put up with anymore anti-Muslim sentiments from our community members,” the organizer said on Facebook.
The Muslim community – including here in Colorado — is planning to host several community events “to peacefully respond to these bigoted rallies by opening our doors to meet our community and recommit ourselves to diversity, acceptance, resilience, and compassion for people of all faiths and backgrounds.”
These events will be held in Denver, Northglenn, Aurora and Boulder.
The rally and counter protest are scheduled to go from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. outside the Colorado State Capitol.
More than 100 people have said they would attend the March Against Sharia Denver rally.