About 100 protesters gathered outside the White House Thursday to call on President Barack Obama to denounce any and all attempts to implement Sharia law in the United States. The protesters had previously intended to counter a demonstration radical British Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary had scheduled, but since he canceled at the last minute, they shifted their attention to resisting pro-Sharia forces nationwide.
Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy, led the protesters in calling for Obama to issue a formal statement decrying Sharia law.
“There might have been people here who wanted to explicitly impose Sharia on this country,” Gaffney said, referring to Choudary’s canceled rally. “We were prepared to debate that proposition with them, but we also want to call out those who are seeking to implement Sharia, but are doing it by stealth.”
Gaffney contends Muslims like Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam who was previously behind the Ground Zero Mosque, aim for full Sharia law implementation in the U.S., just like Choudary, but do so in a more behind-the-scenes or “stealthy” way.
“Sharia is the theopolitical, military, legal program that those that adhere to it seek to impose it on all of us,” Gaffney said. “As they say: ‘by stealth, where necessary, by violence, when practical.’ We believe that this is a moment where it is imperative that the American people understand what a peril this represents.”
WATCH: Anti-Sharia protesters still gather at White House despite radical Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary backing out:
Tim Brown, a New York City firefighter who survived the 9-11 terrorist attacks and attended the rally, called on Obama to “reject Sharia with us.”
“This is a grave danger to America,” Brown said. “We will not back off, we will not lay down. We say ‘no’ to Sharia law here in the United States.”
Brown said he’s going on a tour to meet several different Tea Party groups around the country, starting with five in California in the next week, to talk to them about organizing against Sharia law.
Gaffney’s protest excluded Terry Jones, the pastor who famously threatened and later gave up on plans to host “International Burn the Koran Day,” so Jones held his own gathering across Pennsylvania Avenue from Lafayette Park. Jones said any comparison between him and Choudary on the basis of extremism is “idiotic.”
“He [Choudary] is promoting Sharia law, which is a very valiant form of government,” Jones said. “What we are actually promoting, like I’ve said, is we welcome Muslims. They are welcome to worship in America, build mosques in America, move freely, and we advocate no social or economical disadvantages. What we are saying is that, if they emigrate here, they must be willing to abate Sharia and live by the Constitution of the United States of America.”