DENVER (CBS4) – The steps of Colorado’s capitol were peppered with clashing protesters Saturday, at an event started by those opposed to historic Islam’s Sharia Law.
“We don’t want to see our nation, and the foundation that was built here, torn apart by adding in sharia law,” said Mike Morris, an event organizer.
Morris is part of the “Three Percent United Patriots,” an organization which played a large role in protesting Sharia Law in the United States.
Those on the anti-Sharia law side were met with opposition from those supporting the Muslim faith.
Morris said the rally in Denver was not an anti-Muslim rally. He said the event simply opposed Sharia Law, the law Islam was built on. Sharia law give guidelines for Islam, and how those who offend the law can be punished.
Morris said he was improperly called an “Islamaphobe” by attending the rally.
“When [Islam’s] perception starts to encroach upon mine, that is where we have a problem,” Morris told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “Nobody here, that I am aware of, is against all Muslims.”
Morris said Muslims were welcomed in the United States. However, he said they would need to immigrate legally, and then adjust to the country.
“[When] they become Americans, they need to adopt American culture,” Morris said.
Although the rally was designed to stand against Sharia law, some signs and flags also suggested there was some distaste for radical Islam.
Many of those opposed to the rally peacefully held signs in support of local Muslims.
However, another group joined in to protest the rally. Those individuals were seen wearing all black, masks, and carrying black flags.
As the scheduled rally concluded, those wearing black, and others, confronted the anti-Sharia rally in Civic Center Park.
As Denver, and State, police separated the clashing sides, sadness struck some of the Muslim faith.
“In 2017, it makes us feel like we are regressing as a nation, rather than progressing,” said Iman Jodeh, spokeswoman for the Colorado Islamic Center.
Four people were arrested at the rally.
Jodeh said the rally had a tone of bigotry and hate.
“As Americans, we have a patriotic duty to get to know our Muslim neighbors,” Jodeh said.
Jodeh said local Muslims took the high road by avoiding the protest.
Jodeh said she would not allow the opinions of those attending Saturday’s rally to impact her.
“Only a handful of people were at that. I think it is indicative of how Americans are truly feeling, and how we need to welcome our neighbors,” Jodeh told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.