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Seattle anti-Sharia protest turns violent after hours of peaceful disagreement

SEATTLE – Three people were arrested at Occidental Park when Seattle Police say a large fight broke out after two competing protests rallied and marched Saturday afternoon.

Before the fight at about 12:30 p.m., the protests started peacefully with hundreds of people rallying against the Sharia Law and hundreds more in a counter-protest rallying and marching for solidarity with our Muslim neighbors.

“There are certain parts of Sharia law that doesn’t bother me. Like a Muslim can pray five times a day, that doesn’t bother me. However, we spoke on the specific aspect of Sharia that are harming people and that’s what we focus on,” said rally organizer Anthony Parish.

That’s why Mark Lori says he attended the anti-Sharia Law Rally. The former Muslim now Christian-convert says parts of Sharia aren’t healthy or safe.  He urges education.

“I love them. I love Muslim people, but I want American people and those who support them to go read the law of Islam,” said protester Mark Lori.

Lori says the Sharia law does more harm than good for millions of Muslims.  While organizers made it clear… “It is not an Anti-Muslim Rally,” said Parish.

That’s not what people in the counter-protest believe.

“…is really just another way of being anti-Muslim and in our country we are a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of all faiths,” said counter-protester Paul Adler.

Paul Adler says he showed up to stand up for the silenced.

“As a white male with privilege, I’m not risking a whole lot as the Muslim community would be risking their life and livelihood as we have seen in Portland,” said Adler.

Maria Brazani says she’s not afraid to come out as a Muslim woman and has made it her mission to dispel myths.

“I think Sharia is largely misunderstood and it’s not all like that. It’s not all bad,” said Brazani.

But what is bad, she says, needs to be reformed like what other religions have already done.

“Christians, the Catholic Church went through the modernization, the Jewish went through modernization. Islam must do the same. If not, these people will continue to use it to do evil,” said Brazani.

For those who look at her hijab with fear…

“It is my fear that if people become so scared that someone will say we must wipe you all out for our safety for our family for our children’s safety you have to go,” said Brazani.