Dozens of protestors, many of them wearing “Make America Great Again” baseball caps, gathered in downtown Manhattan on Saturday to denounce what they call the threat of sharia law in the United States.
The rally was one of 29 similar protests taking place in major cities across the country. In New York, the event attracted a small but eclectic crowd, which included supporters of President Donald Trump, so-called “alt-right” white nationalists, conservative Jews and gays and a right-wing militia which vowed to protect the participants.
Laura Loomer, a contributor to the right-wing Canadian web platform Rebel Media, took the stage wearing a Star of David. “You want to see rape culture? Travel to where ISIS is raping Yazidi girls,” she said.
The event was organized by Act for America, which is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the biggest anti-Muslim organization in the country.
A middle-aged couple arrived holding an Israeli flag, and another protestor wore an Israel Defense Forces T-shirt (although he said that as an American Jew from New York City, he did not serve in the Israeli army). He explained that he came to the rally because of Linda Sarsour’s invitation to speak at a CUNY commencement event.