A group of people opposed to the imposition of Islamic Sharia laws in the United States – and a few counterprotesters – gathered at the Historic County Courthouse in downtown Wichita on Saturday, holding American flags and listening to speakers.
It was part of a national effort by an anti-Muslim activist group. Rallies took place in several cities protesting Islamic law, which the group believes is threatening American society. The group, ACT for America, drew a few thousand people in nearly two dozen states. Counterprotesters have condemned the rallies as hate speech.
At the Wichita gathering, around 35 people held American flags. Some counterprotesters held up signs urging compassion and freedom of religion. When one counterprotester stepped in front of the group to photograph their faces, a woman in the main group walked in front of him repeatedly, holding up a large flag to block his photography. The gathering was otherwise peaceful.
The Islamic Society of Wichita plans to gather later on Saturday to conduct “a brief program about Islam” and the Ramadan holiday. The gathering is to take place at 8 p.m. at the Islamic Society, 6655 E. 34th St., according to a statement issued on Friday by the society.
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Hussam Madi, a society spokesman, said the gathering “is about Ramadan and Muslims and showing grace toward our fellow Americans.”