SAN JOSE, Calif. - On Saturday, Santa Clara will host of one of nearly 30 anti-Sharia marches planned nationwide by ACT for America, a nonprofit organization that bills itself as the NRA of national security. Sharia stands for Islamic law.
"We don't anticipate any problems, but we certainly want to keep the peace and protect everyone's First Amendment right," said Santa Clara police Lt. Dan Moreno.
Many local Muslims are concerned about the march, which is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at the intersection of Winchester Blvd. and Stevens Creek Blvd. on the Santa Clara and San Jose border.
To counter, members of the South Bay's interfaith community will hold a "Unity Rally" at the same location.
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"We want the voice of inclusion, of diversity, of celebrating this very strong and vibrant community, that we're all apart of," said Diana Gibson with Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice.
"We will keep our distance, we will respect their rights," said Gibson.
With the South Bay being home to a large Muslim population, some aren't surprised organizers would try to stage a march nearby, but they're choosing to stay positive.
"Our message is that love and strength make our community stronger, that everyone is welcome, that there should be no discrimination, and that hate is destructive, and that we don't want it here," said CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo.
ACT stands for "American Congress for Truth" and has been labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of its anti-Muslim views.