Counterprotesters hold signs and shout slogans during an anti-Shariah rally in Seattle ona June 10, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/David Ryder
If Muslims have their way, said the man with the megaphone, there will be no justice for America’s goats.
“Why do Muslims rape their goats so much?” Jim Gilles asked his fellow protesters gathered on Saturday, June 10 outside one of the largest Islamic worship centers in the Dallas area. “It’s because they’re perverted, demonic, sex-crazed … sick perverts.”
Such outlandish statements appeared to seem completely plausible to many of the 200 or so participants of the rally held outside the Islamic Association of North Texas in the suburb of Richardson.
The demonstration was one of about two dozen “Marches against Shariah” organized Saturday in cities across the country by ACT for America, a self-styled grass-roots national security organization.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups including neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen and black separatists, considers it to be a hate group. The SPLC says that since ACT for America’s founding 10 years ago, it “has grown to become the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group” in the country, with 1,000 local chapters and a claimed membership of 280,000.
There were also anti-Sharia rallies in major cities such as Boston, Chicago, Denver and Seattle. In some places, the protests were met by counter-demonstrations, and in some cases there were scuffles between two sides. In Manhattan, the counter rally was significantly larger, the New York Daily News reported.
While churches and mosques have been built for centuries in close proximity to each other, the relationship between those who worship God inside these sacred houses of prayer has not always been as close.