Anti-Muslim marches held in several US cities

  |   World News

Right-wing marchers have taken to the streets in several cities across the United States for the National March Against Sharia, an anti-Muslim campaign that has been roundly criticised by rights groups and watchdogs.

Speaking to Al Jazeera ahead of the marches, Corey Saylor of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) described the marches as "Islamophobic" and part of a phenomenon that leads to the "creation of an environment in which violence [against Muslims] feels permissible".

Freelance journalist Mike Bivins, reporting from Seattle, published on Twitter videos of a brawl between the two sides and police subsequently firing pepper spray into the crowds During a rally and counterprotest in New York City, local media reports estimate that around 200 Antifa protests outnumbered several dozen participants of the National March Against Sharia.

The marches come just weeks after Jeremy Christian, a 35-year-old white supremacist, allegedly stabbed to death Ricky Best, 53, and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, when they tried to stop him from harassing a pair of girls, one of whom wore an Islamic head scarf, on a light rail in Portland, Oregon.

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