CAIR: 'March Against Sharia' provoking fear in Twin Cities Muslim community

- In nearly 30 cities across the country, protesters are planning to “March Against Sharia" and "March for Human Rights." According the Act for America Facebook page, more than 100 people plan to march at the Minnesota State Capitol on Sunday at noon. 

Standing with various social justice and faith group leaders  from across the Twin Cities, Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Minnesota, says the planned "March against Sharia" is provoking fear in the community. 

“We believe Act for America is a hate group,” Hussein said. “We want to remind our community members that hate groups like Act for America and rhetoric have real serious consequences." 

CAIR is planning a counter-protest on Saturday at 11 a.m. 

Act for America is nonprofit based out of Washington D.C. The organization is committed to "recruiting, training, and mobilizing citizens community by community to help protect and preserve American culture and to keep this nation safe."

In her latest video posted to Twitter, founder Brigitte Gabriel says the March Against Sharia and March For Human Rights is a chance to show support of President Trump's travel ban.  

“We don’t give a flying kite if the world approves of us or not,” Gabriel said in her video post on June 7. “We do what we believe is right for America.”

“[Gabriel is] claiming that practicing Muslims cannot be trusted and cannot be loyal to the Untied States,” Hussein said at the press conference on Friday. “She also says every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim."

A handful of the marches planned across the country have already been canceled, including the one in Arkansas, after it was discovered the organizer is associated with white supremacist groups. Act for America says in a statement that goes against all their values.

“Let's hope this protest that is taking place on Saturday is an opportunity for people to learn about all the opportunities that exists in the Twin Cites,” Rev. Grant Abbott of the Saint Paul Interfaith Network said. 

CAIR and those standing in solidarity invite the public to a counter-protest at the Capitol Saturday along with discussions at a nearby mosque and a unity iftar block party on Saturday night to mark the end of the day's fasting for Ramadan.

The three events CAIR is asking people to join instead of the March Against Sharia are:

1. Counter-protest at the State Capitol at 11 a.m.
2. Discussions throughout the day at the Islamic Da’wah Center located at 487 University Avenue West in St. Paul
3. Unity iftar bock party, 8 p.m. Streets will be shut down at Cedar Avenue and 4th street.

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