U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet condemns Saturday’s March Against Sharia for ‘inspiring hate’

Author: Ernest Luning - June 10, 2017 - Updated: June 12, 2017

Cathy Camper of Tacoma, Washington, wears a stars-and-stripes cowboy hat as she protests against Islamic law and reacts to counter-protesters across the street at a rally Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)Cathy Camper of Tacoma, Washington, wears a stars-and-stripes cowboy hat as she protests against Islamic law and reacts to counter-protesters across the street at a rally Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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.”


Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.


  • Scott Weiser

    June 10, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Senator Bennet is pandering to his base, nothing more. He is ignorant of the threat that Islam poses to human rights and Americans.

    Sharia, which is to say political Islam, which is not a “religion” it’s a sociopolitical system and is therefore NOT protected by the 1st Amendment, is not merely factually incompatible with the Constitution, our system of laws and human rights, it is in fact a violation of federal law for two or more persons to advocate for political Islam precisely because political Islam (sharia) like Communism, advocates violent overthrow of the US Government…indeed all governments…and the imposition of political Islam by force.

    Here are the relevant federal statutes:

    18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious conspiracy

    If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 808; July 24, 1956, ch. 678, § 1, 70 Stat. 623; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(N), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)

    18 U.S. Code § 241 – Conspiracy against rights
    If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
    If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—
    They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

    • Bill James

      June 13, 2017 at 9:31 am

      I concur, Islam is more than a religion and does not fit neatly into our Western thinking. Islam and its leaders will use our constitutional protections against us to gain advantage in the name of religion. We must wake up to this fact.Islam can not coexist with Western ideology one only has to look at Europe.

  • Desiree Dogood

    June 11, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Mr. Bennett obviously isn’t thinking clearly, nor is he taking his oath to the Constitution seriously.

    Isn’t it hateful to want to treat people who aren’t members of your religion as 2nd class citizens and to tax them extra? Isn’t it hateful to want to punish/jail people because they simply said something you found offensive regarding about your religious leaders? That’s what Shaira law is. And note it’s “law” and not “religion” when the government imposes penalties for violating the law. It’s the Muslims who want Shaira law who are being hateful of others, not the people protesting against it.

    Sharia law and Islam are incompatible with freedom of speech, freedom of religion (i.e., “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”), and equality before the law. Any Muslim who believes in it, should leave the US for an Islamic country so they can enjoy what they claim they want, there.

  • Tom

    June 11, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Senator Bennet – how can you support Sharia law. No rights for women: they can’t drive, can’t be outdoors alone, can’t vote (there goes your next re-election), and more, and more…

  • George Tirebiter

    June 12, 2017 at 5:20 am

    So Mr. Bennett must be in favor of chucking homos from the rooftops. He ought to have a talk with his buddy Polis about that.

  • Tim Sullivan

    June 12, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Orwellian that people that would march for human rights are accused of “inspiring hate”.

  • BurningBrule

    June 12, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Did the Senior Senator also condemn some of the horrible practices under Sharia law?

  • Michelle

    June 12, 2017 at 11:37 am

    As a Democrat, and the man who cast the final vote to pass Obamacare, I feel certain Bennet is well qualified to identify hate, support Sharia, and undermine freedom of speech. He is a party-line type of guy.

  • Cliff Farris

    June 12, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    One can submit that cutting off people’s heads for political effect ‘inspires hate”.

  • sharperimagelawn

    June 29, 2017 at 4:00 am

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