'Anti-Sharia' and 'Anti-hate' rallies are both planned at the MN Capitol Saturday

There will be a march and a counter-protest.
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If you're near Minnesota's Capitol Saturday you may wonder what the big deal is.

Well, there will actually be two of them: one rally by people denouncing Sharia law and a counter-protest denouncing hatred and bigotry.

Who's protesting?

A group called ACT for America has planned what they call a March Against Sharia from noon to 3 p.m. outside the Capitol in St. Paul.

They say Sharia is incompatible with the Constitution and American values, and say their event is in support of human rights.

What is Sharia? It's a set of laws based on the code of conduct laid out in Islam's holy book, the Koran. You can learn more about it from CNN or the BBC or Oxford University.

Who's doing the counter-protest?

ACT for America says it's a national security organization that is "recruiting, training, and mobilizing citizens ... to help protect and preserve American culture and to keep this nation safe."

Critics call it an anti-Muslim group. The Southern Poverty Law Center put ACT for America on its list of hate groups operating in the U.S.

Organizers of Saturday's counter-protest – also at the Capitol – say it's been endorsed by more than a dozen groups like Minnesotans Against Islamophobia, Women Against Military Madness, and the U of M's Students for a Democratic Society.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says in an email that after the demonstration the doors will be open at a mosque about five blocks from the Capitol to give tours and answer questions. CAIR-MN also plans a unity celebration and dinner in Minneapolis from 8-10 p.m.

The St. Paul event is one of 27 anti-Sharia events ACT for America is planning around the country on Saturday.

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