ACT for America, the nation’s largest anti-Muslim grassroots group, announced today that it is coordinating a series of protests across the nation on June 10. In Seattle, it will be at Victor Steinbrueck Park 2001 Western Ave, Seattle, Washington 98121
The protests, branded “March Against Sharia,” will explicitly target Muslim communities, raising the specter of Islamic law as a fear mongering tactic. The events are being organized by conservative activist and unapologetic Trump supporter Scott Presler, who serves as ACT for America’s field operations coordinator.
ACT’s announcement of the events relies heavily on the group’s Islamophobia, purporting to explain “why Sharia is incompatible with Western democracy and the freedoms it affords.” ACT for America’s founder, Brigitte Gabriel, regularly conflates all Muslims with terrorists, once saying that “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim” and that Muslims are a “natural threat to civilized people of the world, particularly Western society.”
Although the “March Against Sharia” events claim to support religious freedom, Gabriel has also claimed that a “practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran, cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.” The organized anti-Muslim movement has long sought to spread fear of Islam by arguing that Shariah law, or Islamic law, poses a threat to American laws–a complete legal falsehood.
David Yerushalmi, the legal mastermind behind the anti-Muslim strategy of introducing anti-Shariah bills in state legislatures across the country, told the New York Times in 2011 that passing the bills was not even the goal. Instead, he wanted to use the idea of Shariah to spread fear of Muslims. “If this thing passed in every state without any friction, it would have not served its purpose,” Yerushalmi said. “The purpose was heuristic — to get people asking this questions, ‘What is Shariah?’”
The June 10 protests against that phantom threat are another tactic of this anti-Muslim strategy.
Counter protests will take place in nearly every city too. Here’s a flyer on the one in Seattle.