U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet condemns Saturday’s March Against Sharia for ‘inspiring hate’
Author: Ernest Luning - June 10, 2017 - Updated: June 12, 2017
Calling the protests “anti-Muslim,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet on Saturday denounced the “March Against Sharia” events taking place in 28 cities across the country, including one scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Denver.
“The marches in Denver and other cities across the country today further add to the fear that many have been feeling in recent months,” Bennet, a Democrat, said in a statement.
Organizers of the marches are protesting the imposition of fundamentalist Islamic law, known as Sharia law, saying it’s a threat to the American way of life, but critics say the protesters are fueling religious intolerance.
“America was built on the idea that people of different faiths can come together to create a strong, united democracy,” Bennet said. “We need to spend more time walking in each other’s shoes, not inspiring hate or fear. All of us in political office have a responsibility to speak out against these actions and remind every member of our communities that you are valued and welcome in this country.”
The marches are being organized by ACT for America — the acronym stands for “American Congress for Truth” — a nonprofit group that bills itself as the country’s “largest and most influential national security grassroots advocacy organization” and claims more than half a million members.
Its mission, the group says, is to protect Western values against radical Islam and other movements. But the Southern Poverty Law Center labels it a hate group and calls it “far and away the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in America.”
“This is a march against Sharia law and for human rights,” ACT for America says on its website. “Our nation is built on the freedom of religion — a pillar of our democracy — which we must always respect, protect, and honor. However many aspects of Sharia law run contrary to basic human rights and are completely incompatible with our laws and our democratic values.”
Saturday’s protests were scheduled in cities including New York, Dallas, Seattle and Wichita, Kansas.
The Denver protest was scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. at the state Capitol. More than 300 people had indicated on Facebook that they were planning to attend or interested in the event.
On Thursday, ACT for America cancelled a planned march in Arkansas after learning its organizer was associated with white supremacist groups.
“This is against all our values,” the organization said in a statement. “We stand firmly opposed to any actions by individuals or organizations that seek to attack or intimidate based on race, religion, or sexual orientation.”