SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — A march against what demonstrators see as the encroaching influence of Sharia law in the United States is taking place Saturday in San Bernardino, but the planned rally has prompted counter-protests of its own.
The local chapter of the conservative group ACT for America organized the June 10 demonstration near the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino as part of a series of anti-Sharia marches across the country. The center is the site of the deadly terror attack that killed 14 people in December 2015.
The march and rally will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For ACT member Denise Zamora, the attack hit too close to home, leading her to learn more about radical Islamists and Sharia law and to join the group some view as anti-Muslim.
However, Zamora says, the demonstration expected to draw some 300 protesters is not about being anti-Muslim.
“There are radicals out there,” she told CBS2 News. “People are saying we’re against Muslims. No, Muslims are attacking other Muslims, and we’re bringing in these refugees that have the same ideologies.”
Masih Fouladi with the Council for American-Islamic Relations says these groups are doing nothing but spreading unfounded fears about Muslims.
According to Fouladi, Sharia law is about how Muslims live their lives. “It’s how you get married. It’s how you draft your will. It’s just very core beliefs that are protected by the First Amendment, and that don’t conflict with the Constitution or any American principles.”
Fouladi also believes that holding the rally near the site of San Bernardino attacks is offensive to the friends and loved ones of those who lost their lives Dec. 2, 2015.
He will be part of one of those counter-protests.
One thing that Zamora and Fouladi agree on: Both sides need to remain peaceful.
San Bernardino police said they would be ready should issues arise.