Seattle was one of many U.S. cities that saw anti-Shariah marches on its streets Saturday — as well as counterprotesters who came out in force against the marchers, often violently.
In fact, the Seattle Times said counterprotesters in the city outnumbered those marching against Shariah — the controversial system of Islamic law that includes subjugation of women and the death penalty for gays. Shariah is the law of the land in several Muslim nations.
The paper said the anti-Shariah marchers, many wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats, purportedly gathered to raise awareness about genital mutilation and the cutting of young girls and women. Then the counterprotesters — which included pastors, ministers, imams, Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists, the Times said — met the anti-Shariah protesters head on.
Journalist Mike Bivins covered the event with video posts on Twitter, heralding in one what could have been the start of serious trouble: “If I’m not mistaken an anarchist contingent has arrived.”
Bivins followed that post with arguably his most provocative clip, describing it as “antifa” members (so-called “anti-fascists”) beating up a “Trump supporter. Huge wild brawl. Battle in Seattle!!!!”
The clip shows what appear to be anti-Shariah marchers walking up to a group of livid counterprotesters who surround them — and use a little bit more than horns, whistles, glitter, silly string and chants of “neo-Nazis go home!” to get their point across.
The camera focuses on one man with tattooed arms arguing with counterprotesters who begin pushing him.
He then pushes back and throws a punch — and then the mob full-on attacks him.
One person holding a “Queers for Muslims” sign — adorned with a pair of hearts outlined in pink — is actually seen standing behind the man and pummeling him with the edge of the sign, which appears to be made of wood.
“Beat his ass!” one voice is heard yelling as the man is pounded by numerous fists. Another voice is heard shouting, “Get the f*** out of here!”
The counterprotester holding the “Queers for Muslims” sign hits the man with it again:
After he’s shoved to the edge of the melee, the man — his shirt in tatters — smiles at his taunting attackers.
He then walks away, holding his forehead.
Here’s the clip from Bivins. (Content warning: Strong language):
ANTIFA JUST BEATDOWN A TRUMP SUPPORTER. HUGE WILD BRAWL. BATTLE IN SEATTLE!!!! pic.twitter.com/X4NHVlSeJe
— Mike Bivins (@itsmikebivins) June 10, 2017
Tim Phillips, lead pastor of Seattle First Baptist Church, told the Times he came to march with the counterprotest group “to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters.”
“For those who are misguided in their understanding and malevolent in their intent, there are those of us in the faith community who are committed to get in their way, to stand with our Muslim sisters and brothers against any excuse for violence and hatred,” Phillips told the paper, adding that he disagreed with linking Islam with “a regressive view of the world. I know from my own experience that is not true.”
The Times said Imam Jamal Rothman of the Interfaith Community Sanctuary told counterprotesters, ”My friends, we must not allow fear, anger or false information to manipulate our minds. Your presence here really inspires me to become a better Muslim, to become a more developed and complete human being. You inspire me to understand that we are all interconnected.”